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Full text of "History of Washington and Kent counties, Rhode Island, including their early settlement and progress to the present time; a description of their historic and interesting localities; sketches of their towns and villages; portraits of some of their prominent men, and biographies of many of their representative citizens"

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Cornell  University 

The  original  of  this  book  is  in 
the  Cornell  University  Library. 

There  are  no  known  copyright  restrictions  in 
the  United  States  on  the  use  of  the  text. 



Washington  and  Kent  Counties, 



Their  Early  Settlement  and  Progress  to  the  Present  Time; 
A  Description  of  their  Historic  and  Interesting  Lo- 
calities; Sketches  of  their  Towns  and  Villages; 
Portraits  of  some  of  their  Prominent  Men, 
AND   Biographies  of  many  of  their 
Representative  Citizens. 

By  J.   R.   COLE. 


New  York  : 
W.   W.  PEESTON  &  CO. 


\M  3   c  I-  <^"^ 


'600  0 

Press  of  J.   HENRY   PROBST, 
36  Vesey  St.  ,  New  York. 


In  the  preparation  of  the  history  of  the  Narragansett  country 
every  available  source  of  information  has  been  utilized,  yet  it 
is  to  be  regretted  that  every  work  of  this  kind  contains  im- 
perfections. It  is  hoped,  however,  that  the  defects  in  this  work 
are  comparatively  trifling  and  that  the  citizens  of  Washington 
and  Kent  counties  will  have  reason  to  be  satisfied  with  the 

Records  of  every  kind,  town,  church  and  court,  unpublished 
manuscripts,  standard  histories,  private  diaries,  letters  and  local 
traditions  have  furnished  the  material,  which  has  been  sifted, 
collated  and  arranged  according  to  the  writer's  ability. 

When  making  extracts  from  records  and  ancient  documents 
we  have  given  as  far  as  possible  faithful  transcripts  of  the 
originals,  copying  the  dates  and  spelling  as  written.  This  will 
account  for  the  occasional  inconsistency  in  the  orthography 
of  names.  In  many  instances  the  spelling  of  the  names  has 
changed,  as  that  of  Pierce,  written  Peirce,  and  also  by  others, 

The  author  sincerely  thanks  the  many  kind  friends  who  have 
generously  aided  in  the  preparation  of  this  work.  Particular  ac-  due  to  Frederick  T.  Rogers,  M.  D.,  of  Westerly, 
who  wrote  the  medical  history  of  Washington  county,  and  to  Doc- 
tor James  H.  Eldredge,  who  wrote  the  history  of  the  physicians  of 
East  Greenwich  and  other  sketches  of  that  town ;  to  Peleg  F. 
Pierce  and  to  ex-Governor  John  J.  Reynolds  for  their  assistance 
in  the  preparation  of  the  history  of  North  Kingstown  ;  to  John 
G.  Clarke  for  the  history  of  the  Great  Swamp  Fight  and  of  the 
County  Agricultural  Society ;  to  Mrs.  B.  F.  Robinson  and  Jeffrey 


W.  Potter,  both  of  South  Kingstown,  and  Thomas  A.  Reynolds 
of  East  Greenwich,  for  various  sketches  furnished ;  to  Joseph 
Peace  Hazard,  of  South  Kingstown,  who  contributed  the  follow- 
ing views:  "  Hazard  Memorial  Castle,"  "  Druidsdream,"  "The 
Cottage,"  "Home  of  the  late  Rowland  Gibson  Hazard,  LL.D.," 
"Oakwoods,"  "The  Acorns,"  "  Peace  Dale  Mills,"  and  "Congre- 
gational Church,  Peace  Dale  ";  to  Reverend  J.  L.  Cottrell  and 
Deacon  A.  Langworthy  for  assistance  in  the  preparation  of  the 
town  history  of  Hopkinton ;  to  Professor  W.  F.  Tucker,  who 
wrote  the  history  of  Charlestown,  and  to  Charles  W.  Hopkins, 
who  prepared  the  sketches  for  the  history  of  the  town  of  West 
Greenwich ;  to  Edwin  Babcock  for  the  history  of  the  banks  of 
Westerly ;  to  George  H.  Babcock  and  Honorable  Henry  E. 
Chamberlin  for  the  business  history  of  Westerly ;  to  Dwight  R. 
Adams,  who  wrote  the  history  of  the  Masonic  fraternity  of  Kent 
county,  and  to  others  for  various  contributions. 

Mention  should  also  be  made  of  the  following  list  of  books, 
pamphlets  and  papers  from  which  we  have  copied  freely  and 
without  comment :  Reverend  Frederick  Denison's  History  of 
Westerly,  Reverend  S.  S.  Griswold's  History  of  Hopkinton, 
Reverend  J.  R.  Irish's  History  of  Richmond,  David  S.  Baker's 
History  of  North  Kingstown,  Doctor  Greene's  History  of  East 
Greenwich,  Doctor  Fuller's  History  of  Warwick  and  William  B. 
Spencer's  History  of  Phenix  and  adjacent  villages,  published  in 
the  Pawtuxct  Valley  Gleaner  and  kindly  furnished  us  by  Mr.  John 
H.  Campbell,  its  proprietor  and  editor. 

Thanks  are  especially  due  to  the  press  of  Washington  and 
Kent  counties  for  free  access  at  all  times  to  their  files.  In  short 
the  citizens  of  both  counties  have  opened  up  every  avenue 
within  their  reach,  and  it  is  hoped  the  work  now  before  the 
reader  will  stimulate  a  healthy  emulation  by  exciting  a  truer 
appreciation  in  others  for  our  ancestors  who,  going  before,  have 
made  these  counties  distinguished  in  the  annals  of  American 




The  Indian  Country  and  Its  Discovery  by  the  White  Settlers.— The  Signifi- 
cant Challenge.— The  Erection  of  an  Indian  Fort.— The  Narragansett 
Indians.— The  Visit  of  the  Great  Sachem.— The  Various  Tribes  of  Indians 
and  Their  Modes  of  Warfare  and  Subsistence.- Indian  Gods.— Lands 
Deeded  to  Roger  Williams  by  the  Indians.— Williams'  Letters.— The  Pe- 
quots.— The  Behavior  of  the  Pequots  Toward  Other  Indians  and  the 
Whites. — Contentions  about  Misquamicut. — Preparations  for  War. — 
Trumbull's  Description  of  the  Fight.— The  Warwick  Purchase.— War 
with  the  Mohegans. — Miantinomo. — Niantics. — Ninigret  and  his  Success- 
ors.— The  Sachems  of  the  Various  Tribes. — The  Manisses  and  Montauks 
and  Their  Feuds,  by  F.  Denison.— The  Great  Swamp  Fight 1 



Situation. — Trading  Houses. — Boundary  Lines. — The  Colonial  Controversy. 
— Altercations  with  Plymouth  and  Connecticut .  — Petitions  to  the  Throne. 
,  —The  Charter  of  1663.— Roger  Williams'  Letter.— The  Trouble  with 
Connecticut. — Meeting  of  the  Commissioners. — The  New  Boundary  Lines. 
— The  King's  Province. — The  Letter  to  the  King. — Decision  of  the  King's 
Commissioners. — Final  Settlement  of  the  DifiSculty. — The  Palatine  Light. 
— The  King's  Highway. — The  Dark  Day.— Slavery  and  the  Slave  Trade. 
— Lake  Narragansett  and  other  places 37 



Richard  Smith. —The  Fones  Record.— The  Petitioners'  List.— The  Clarke 
Family. — The  French  Settlement. — The  Landed  Aristocracy. — Extensive 
Farms  and  their  Dairy  Products. — Governor  Robinson. — Pettaquamsoutt 
and  its  Surroundings. — Gilbert  Stuart. — George  Rome  and  his  Country 
Villa. — An  Extraordinary  Answer  to  Prayer. — Theophilus  Whaley. — 
The  Willetts. — The  Hazards. — Ministry  Lands. — The  Pettaquamsoutt 
Purchase. — The  Church  Difficulty. — The  Decision  of  the  King's  Council. 
— Reverend  James  McSparran,  D.  D 49 





The  Erection  of  the  King's  Province.— Joseph  Dudley's  Proclamation.— 
Names  Given  to  the  Different  Towns.— The  Erection  of  Kings  County.— 
The  Act  of  the  Assembly  Changing  Kings  to  Washington  County.— 
The  Court  House  and  County  Jail.— Execution  of  Thomas  Carter.— 
Daniel  Harry,  the  Indian  Convict.— The  Great  September  Gale.— The 
Beginning  of  the  Present  Century.— Ship  Building.— Social  Indulgences. 
—Washington  (^unty  Agricultural  Society.— Public  Schools.— News- 



Revolutionary  Period. — Original  Causes  of  the  War. — Destruction  of  the 
British  Vessels  "Liberty"  and  "  Gaspee." — Forces  Raised  by  the  Vari- 
ous Towns. — Reminiscences  of  the  Sanguinary  Conflict. — Kentish  Guards. 
— The  Capture  of  Major-General  Prescott. — Colonel  Christopher  Greene. — 
Major-General  Nathaniel  Greene. — The  Dorr  Rebellion. — The  Civil  War.  105 



History  of  the  Courts. — List  of  Rhode  Island  Governors  from  Washington 
and  Kent  Counties. — The  Attorneys-General. — Bar  Compact. — Daniel 
Updike. — Lodowick  Updike. — Wilkins  Updike. — Samuel  Ward. — Harry 
Babcock. — James  Mitchell  Varnum. — Stephen  Arnold. — Richard  Ward 
Greene. — Rouse  T.  Helme. — Archibald  Campbell. — Jacob  Campbell. — 
Joseph  L.  Tillinghast. — Nathan  F.  Dixon. — John  H.  Cross. — Elisha  R. 
Potter,  Sr. — Elisha R.  Potter. — Judge  Dutee  Arnold. — Sylvester  Gardiner 
Shearman. — George  A.  Brayton. — Albert  Collins  Greene. — Nathan  Whit- 
ing.— William  G.  Bowen. — Joseph  Windsor. — William  E.  Peck. — John 
Hall.— David  S.  Baker,  Jr.— William  C.  Baker.— Elisha  C.  Clark.— 
Henry  Howard. — Henry  B.  Anthony. — Thomas  H.  Peabody. — Charles 
Perrin. — Albert  B.  Crafts. — Albert  B.  Burdick. — Henry  Whipple. — 
Eugene  F.  Warner. — Nathan  B.  Lewis. — Samuel  W.  K.  Allen. — Benja- 
min W.  Case. — Charles  J.]|Arms 153 

The  Medical  Profession. 


James  Noyes. — (xeorge  Stillman. — Thomas  Rodman. — William  Vincent. — 
Joshua  Babcock. — SylvesterGardiner.— Joseph  Comstock.— John  Aldrich. 
— Daniel  Lee. — James  Noyes. — George  Hazard  Perry. — Nathan  Knight. — 
Israel  Anthony. — Peleg  Johnson. — William  G.  Shaw. — Amos  Collins. — 
Isaac  Collins. — John  Collins. — John  JI.   Collins. — Stephen  F.   Griffin. — 

Dan  King. — William  Robinson. — Horatio  Robinson.^ John  G.  Pierce. 

Joseph  H.  GrifRn. — Henry  Aldrich. — George  Hazard  Church. — William 

T.  Thurston. — John  B.  Rose. — John  E.  Weeden. — Thomas  A.  Hazard. 

William  H.  Wilbur. — Edwin  R.  Lewis. — Edwin  Anthony. — Joseph  D. 

Kenyon. — John  D.  Kenyon. — Amos  R.  Collins. — Albert  A.  Saunders. 

Samuel  B.  Church. — Elisha  P.  Clarke. — John   A.  Wilcox.— Curtiss  E. 


Maryott.— J.  Howard  Morgan.— John  Wilbur.— John  H.  Merrill.— Henry 
N.  CrandalL— George  C.  Bailey.— Alexander  B.  Briggs.— Charles  Hitch- 
cock.—Etta  Payne.— Lucy  A.  Baboock.— John  E.  Pen-y.- S.  Oscar  Myers. 
James  N.  Lewis.— H.  W.  Rose.— George  H.  Beebe.— Alvin  H.  Eccleston. 
—George  V.  Foster.— George  F.  Bliven.— Edward  E.  Kenyon.— Herbert 
J.  Pomroy.— F.  T.  Rogers.— Henry  K.  Gardner.— Philip  K.  Taylor.— 
William  J.  Ryan.— Lorin  F.Wood.— William  James.— John  Champlin. 
— Edwin  R.  Lewis.— Other  Physicians. — County  Medical  Society. 


Thomas  Spencer.— Thomas  Aldrich.— Dutee  Jerauld.— Joseph  Joslyn.— Peter 
Turner.— John  Tibbitts.— Charles  Eldredge.— Lucius  M.Wheeler.— Daniel 
Howland  Greene.— James  H.  Eldredge.— Sylvester  Knight.— Stephen 
Harris. — John  J.Wood. — John  McGregor. — Job  Kenyon. — Ira  C.  Win- 
sor. — John  Winsor.— John  Matteson.— F.  B.  Smith.— M.  J.  E.  Legris.— 
James  B.  Tillinghast.— William  J.  Burge.— James  Boardman  Hanaford. 
— W.  H.  Sturtevant.— C.  L.  Wood.— E.  G.  Carpenter.— G.  L.  Richards. 
— Joseph  Suprenant. — John  F.  Carpenter. — William  Hubbard. — N.  B. 
Kenyon.— Albert  C.  Dedrick.— Albert  G.  Sprague.— George  T.  Perry 183 



Principal  Features  of  the  Township.— The  First  Settlers  of  Westerly.— The 
Purchase  of  Misquamicut. — Hardships  Encountered  by  the  Early  Settlers. 
— Doctor  Joshua  Babcock. — Roll  of  Early  Freemen. — Town  Records. — 
RoU  of  Representatives. — List  of  Town  Clerks. — Present  Officers. — Notes 
from  Timothy  Dwight. — Granite  Quarries. — Watch  Hill. — Ocean  View. 
— Potter  Hill. — Lottery  Village.— White  Rock. — Niantic— Indian  Church. 
— Presbyterian  Church. — The  Union  Meeting  House. — The  Gardner 
Church. — TheWilcox  Church.— Friends'  Society. — River  Bend  Cemetery. 

— Graveyards 238 



The  Village  of  Westerly,  Its  Location  and  Its  Business  History. — Early  Mills. 
— Grist  Mills. — Early  Woolen  Mills,  Foundries  and  Machine  Shops. — 
Printing  Press  Manufactory. — C.  Maxson  &  Co. — Carriage  Business. — 
Stillmanville.— Stillman  Mill  and  Machine  Shops.— O.M.  Stillman.— Early 
Merchants  of  Westerly. — The  Clothing  Business. — The  Furniture  Trade. 
— The  Grocery  Trade. — The  Boot  and  Shoe  Trade.— Drug  Stores. — Hard- 
ware.— Public  Houses. — Banks  of  Westerly. — Schools. — Churches.— Fire 
District. — Library  Association. — Societies,  etc 294 



Rowse  Babcock. — The  Chapman  Family.— Peleg  Clarke. — Benjamin  F. 
Clark. — Charles  B.  Coon. — Calvert  B.  Oottrell. — Amos  Cross. — Daniel  F. 
Larkin. — Azro  N.  Lewis. — Jonathan  Maxson. — Charles  Maxson. — 
Charles  Perry. — James  Monroe  Pendleton. — Eugene  B.  Pendleton. — 
Thomas  Wells  Potter.— Joseph  H.  Potter.— William  D.  Potter.— Thomas 
Wanton  Segar. — Orlando  Smith.— Orlando  R.  Smith.— Thomas  V.  Still- 
man.— Thomas  Vincent. — Wager  Weeden. — John  E.  Weeden. — Edwin 
Milner 337 




Description.— Population.— Noted  Places.— Richard  Smith's  Block  House.— 
The  Updikes.— The  Big  Grave.— Early  Settlement  and  Early  Settlers. 
—List  of  Freemen.— The  Erection  of  the  Town.— Early  Pastimes.— Negro 
'Lections.— Town  Clerks.— Town  Officers.— Land  Titles.— The  Villages, 
their  Industries,  etc.— The  Town  Farm.— Murders.— Elm  Grove  Ceme- 
tery.—Schools.— First  Baptist  Church,  Allenton.— Quidnessett  Baptist 
Church,  North  Kingstown.— Six  Principle  Baptist  Church.— Other 
Churches ^"^^ 



Situation  of  the  Village.— Early  Traders  and  Their  Places  of  Business.— 
Notes  of  1849.— Banks.— Jonathan  Reynolds.— John  J.  Reynolds. -Pardon 
T.  Hammond.— Hotels.— Thomas  C.  Peiroe.— Fire  Engine  Company.— 
The  Annaquatucket  Temple  of  Honor.— Jocelyn  Council,  No.  6. — Uncas 
Encampment. — Mails. — Washington  Academy. — Libraries. — Sea  Cap- 
tains.— St.  Paul's  Church — Baptist  Church. — Methodist  Church. — Ste- 
phen B.  Reynolds.— Alfred  Blair  Chadsey 446 



General  Features. — Erection  of  the  Township. — Town  Clerks. — Township  of 
Narragansett. — Freemen. — Early  Births. — Reminiscences. — The  Hazards, 
Robinsons,  Rodmans,  Watsons,  Perrys,  Sweets  and  other  Families. — 
Amusing  Incidents. — Short  Sketches  by  Jeffrey  W.  Potter. — A  Suicide. — 
Schools. — Town  Farm. — Tower  Hill. — Presbyterian  Church. — Narragan- 
sett Pier. — Hotels. — Other  Objects  of  Interest. — St.  Peter's  by  the  Sea. 
— Presbyterian  Church 481 



Wakefield. — Wakefield  Mills. — Banks. — Hotels. — Episcopal  Chui-ohes. — Bap- 
tists.— Catholics. — Riverside  Cemetery. — Peace  Dale. — Oil  Mill. — Con- 
gregational Church. — Rocky  Brook. — Church  at  Rocky  Brook. — Little 
Rest. — Bank. — Kingston  Church. — The  Congregational  Church. — Glen 
Rock. — Queen  River  Baptist  Church. — Kingston  Station. — Bui-nside. — 
Perryville. — Fort  Tucker. — Curtis  Corner. — South  Ferry. — Greene  Hill. 
— Mooresfield. — Life  Saving  Station. — Light  House. — Point  Judith  Pond. 
—George  W.  Sheldon. — Daniel  Sherman. — Stephen  A.  Wright 579 



Incorporation. — First  Town  Meeting. — Town  Clerks. — Churches. — Schools. — 
Manufactories. — King's  Purchase. — Mills. — Indian  Burying  Ground. — 
Library. — Public  Halls. — Great  Fire  at  Shannook. — Ponds. — Springs. 
—Hills.— Bridges.— Biographical  Sketches 630 




Description  of  the  Town.— Noted  Places.— Queen's  Fort.— Beach  Pond.— 
Town  Organization.— Town  Officers.- List  of  Town  Clerks.— Early  Set- 
tlement.—Exeter  Hollow.— Hallville.—Fisherville.— Pine  Hill.— The  Ex- 
eter Bank.— Lawtonville.-Browningville.—Millville.— Boss  Rake  Fac- 
tory.—Yawgoo.— The  Town  Farm  and  Asylum.— Schools.— Churches.— 
Library. — Biographical  Sketches 663 



Oeneral  Features  of  the  Town  and  Places  of  Note. — Early  Legislation. — 
Prominent  Settlers. — Thomas  Clarke,  the  Surveyor.— Disposition  of 
Lands. — Town  Records. — Town  Officers. — Early  Mills. — Wagons,  when 
First  Used. — Schools. — Hope  Valley. — Arcadia. — Wyoming. — Carolina 
MiUs. — Shannock. — Clark's  Mills. — Kenyon's  Mills.— Woodville.—Wood- 
ville  Seventh  Day  Baptist  Church. — Plainville. — Wood  River  Chapel. — 
Hillsdale. — Tug  Hollow  Mills. — Usquepaug. — Queen's  River  Baptist 
Church. — Richmond  Church. — Biographical  Sketches 69S 



General  Features  of  the  Town. — Early  Legislation. — Civil  Officers. — Toma- 
quag  Valley. — The  Lewis  Family. — The  Langworthy  Family. — The  Bab- 
cock  Family. — The  Wells  Family. — Early  Amusements. — Horse  Insur- 
ance Company. — Schools. — Libraries. — Ashaway  and  its  Mills,  Stores  and 
Banks. — The  First  Seventh  Day  Baptist  Church. — Bethel. — Laureldale. — 
Hopkinton  City,  its  Stores,  Hotels,  Manufactories  and  Churches. — Hope 
Valley.— Manufacturing.— Stores.— Banks. — Hotels. — Library. — Churches. 
— Locustville. — Barberville.— Wyoming.— Rockville.—Centerville.—Rock- 
ville  Manufacturing  Company. — Moscow. — Rockville  Seventh  Day  Baptist 
Church. — Biographical  Sketches 755 



The  Aboriginal  Inhabitants. — Sketches  of  Prominent  Settlers.— Troubles 
with  Massachusetts. — Erection  of  the  County. — East  Greenwich  Acad- 
emy.—The  Society  of  Friends.— Captain  Thomas  Arnold.— Extract  from 
Daniel  Howland's  Diary.— Freemasonry  in  Kent  County 843 



Important  Features  of  the  Towns.— Town  Organization.— Protection  Laws 
Against  the  Indians.— Land  Grants.— Highways.— Town  House.— List  of 
Town  Clerks.— Town  Officers.— Schools.— Pawtuxet.— Rocky  Point. 
—The  Buttonwoods.— Oakland  Beach.— Shawomet  Baptist  Church.— 
Apponaug  and  Coweset  Shore,  Industries,  Churches,  etc.— Crompton, 
its  Early  Manufacturing,  Stores,  Churches,  etc.— Centreville.— Arctic,  its 
Industries  and  Churches 920 




Phenix  and  Its  Surrounding  Villages.— Early  History.— Lippitt  Manufactur- 
ing Company.— Roger  Williams  Manufacturing  Company  and  Phenix 
MiUs.  —  Stores.  —Undertakers.  —  Railroad.  —  Hotels.  —  Fire  District.  — 
Water  Company.— Fires.— Banks.— Public  Library.— Tatem  Meeting 
House. — Phenix  Baptist  Church. — Phenix  Methodist  Church. — Catholic 
Church,  Phenix.— Episcopal  Church.— Clyde  Print  Works.— River  Point. 
— Congregational  Church,  River  Point. — Natick. — Natick  First  Baptist 
Church.— Pontiac— First  Free  Will  Baptist  Church. — All  Saints'  Church. 
—Hill's  Grove.— Methodist  Church.— Biographical  Sketches 974 



General  Description  of  the  Town. — Division  of  Lands. — West  Greenwich 
Set  Ofe.— The  Census  of  1774.— Temperance.- The  Poor,  How  Cared  For. 
— Town  Officers  in  1888. — The  Fry  Family. — Commerce  and  the  Fisher- 
ies.— The  Spencer  Family. — George  Washington  Greene. — Hugh  Essex 
and  the  Old  Grist  Mill. — Education. — The  Village  of  East  Greenwich. — 
First  Inhabitants  and  What  They  Did. — Samuel  King. — The  Mercan- 
tile Trade. — Libraries. — Banks. — Fii-e  Department. — Water  Works. — 
Electric  Light. —  Societies.  —  Churches.  —  Manufactures. —  Biographical 
Sketches 1056 



General  Features  of  the  Town  with  Points  of  Interest. — Division  of  the 
Lands  and  Settlement  of  the  Town. — Sketches  of  the  Thirteen  Original 
Purchasers. — Town  Organization,  Etc. — Industries. — Education. — The- 
ophilus  Whaley. — Sketches  of  Some  of  the  Leading  Men  of  West  Green- 
wich.— Nooseneck,  its  Manufacturing  and  Mex-cantile  Interests. — Es- 
coheag. — West  Greenwich  Centre.  —  Robin  Hollow.  —  Liberty.  —  The 
Churches 1140 



Description. — Incorporation,  etc. — The  Coventry  and  Warwick  Dividing 
Line. — Town  Officers. — Town  Asylum. — Coventry  and  Cranston  Turn- 
pike.— Education. — Secret  Societies. — Greenwood  Cemetery. — Quidnick. 
— Tin  Top  Church. — Anthony. — Coventry  Company. — Stores. — Central 
Baptist  Church. — Maple  Root  Church. — Washington  Village  and  its  In- 
dustries.— Washington  Methodist  Church. — Coventry  Manufacturing 
Company. — Coventry  Centre. — Spring  Lake. — Whaley. — Barclay. — Sum- 
mit.— The  Christian  Church. — Greene. — Fairbanks. — Hopkins'  Hollow. 
— Harris. — Arkwright. — Black  Rook. — Biographical  Sketches 1175 

^Personal  Paragraphs 1228 




Adams,  Dwight  R 1035 

Aldrich,  David  L 830 

Allen,  Edwin  R 821 

Allen,  s.  w.  K !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'.!!!!!!!!!  iso 

Babcock,  Rowse 338 

Barber,  Edward 833 

Barber,  Thomas  A 833 

Bennett,  "William  G 1037 

Bodfish,  William 1138 

Briggs,  A.  B. ,  M.  D 313 

Briggs,  Asa  S 884 

Briggs,  Ira  G 83& 

Browning,  John  A 441 

Campbell,  John  H 98 

Chaoe,  Thomas  W 1130 

Chadsey,  Alfred  B. . . .- 478 

Chapman,  Courtland  P 333 

Chapman,  Harris  P 383 

Chapman,  Israel 330' 

Chapman,  John 333^ 

Chapman,  Sumner 331 

Church,  George  H 194 

Clark,  Benjamin  F 335 

Clark,  Charles 741 

Clark,  Charles  P 743 

Clark,  Simeon  P 743" 

Clarke,  Peleg 334 

Collins,  Alfred 657 

Collins,  Amos  R 313 

Coon,  Charles  B 336 

Cottrell,  Calvert  B 338 

Cross,  John  H 168 

Cross,  William  D 658 

Davis,  James  M 411 

Dews,  Joseph 1131 

Eldredge,  James  H 336. 

Ellis,  John  C 1038 

Ennis,  George  N 744 

Fry,  Thomas  G 1133 

Gardner,  Z.  Herbert 684 

Godfrey,  John  R 1030 

Greene,  Anson 745 

(jreene,  Charles  J 746 

Greene,  Clarke  S 686 

Greene,  Henry  L 1033 

Greene,  Henry  W 1035 

Greene,  Lauriston  H 1133 

Greene,  Richard 1037 

Greene,  Simon  Henry 103^ 



Griffin,  Joseph  H 193 

Griffin,  Stephen  W 1216 

Hammond,  Pardon  T 456 

Hazard,  Isaac  P  496 

Hazard,,  Joseph  P 502 

Hazard,  Rowland 504 

Hazard,  Rowland  G 500 

Hazard,  Thomas  R 498 

Heydon,  Henry  D 1039 

Hill,  Thomas  J  1040 

Hopkins,  Pardon 1154 

Howard,  Henry ITS 

Hoxie,  John  W 748 

Kenyon,  E.  A 660 

Kenyon,  Elijah 750 

Kenyon,  Job 330 

Kenyon,  John  D 301 

Kenyon,  Joseph  D *. 300 

Kenyon,  Thomas  E 1134 

Kilton,  John  J 1318 

Langworthy,  Benjamin  P.,  3d 828 

Langworthy,  Joseph 830 

Langworthy,  Josiah  W 889 

Langworthy,  Oliver 831 

Langworthy,  Robert  H 833 

Langworthy,  William  A 833 

Lanphear,  Harris  834 

Lapham,  Enos 1044 

Larkin,  Daniel  F 341 

Legris,  M.  J.  E 232 

Lewis,  Azro  N 342 

Lewis,  Edwin  R 199 

Lewis,  James 690 

Lookwood,  James  T 1046 

Madison,  Joseph  W 442 

Maglone,  John 444 

Matteson,  Charles 1220 

Maxson,  Charles 350 

Maxson,  Jonathan 348 

May,  Thomas 1136 

Milner,  Edwin 370a 

Money,  Philip  A  692 

Morgan,  J.  Howard 212 

Nichols,  Gardner 836 

Olney,  George  H 838 

Peabody,  Thomas  H     103 

Peckham,  Pardon  S 1222 

Peckham,  Thomas  C 1224 

Peirce,  Thomas  C ; 458 

Pendleton,  Eugene  B 357 

Pendleton,  James  M 354 



Perry,  Charles 352 

Pike,  David ]^Q4g 

Pomroy,  Herbert  J 313 

Potter,  Horatio  W 1049 

Potter,  Joseph  H  360 

Potter,  Thomas  "W 358 

Potter,  William  D 363 

Read,  Byron 1226 

Reoch,  Robert 1050 

Reynolds,  Albert  S 413 

Reynolds,  Allen 413 

Reynolds,  John  J  455 

Reynolds,  Stephen  B 4i74 

Robinson,  Jeremiah  P 516 

Robinson,  Sylvester 512 

Rodman,  Isaac  P 528 

Rodman,  Robert 416 

Rodman,  Samuel 526 

Rogers,  Frederick  T 212 

Rose,  Henry  W 810 

Segar,  Francis  B 752 

Segar,  Thomas  W 364 

Segar,  William  F 753 

Sheldon,  George  W 624 

Sherman,  Daniel 626 

Smith,  Orlando 366 

Smith,  Orlando  R 367 

Spencer,  Christopher 1052 

Spencer,  Richard 1187 

Spmk,  Nicholas  B 440 

Sweet,  Henry 408 

Sweet,  John  T.  G 696 

Utter,  George  B 100 

Vincent,  Thomas , 368 

Walton,  WiUiam  A 754 

Waterhouse,  Benjamin  F 1054 

Watson,  Elisha  F 532 

Weaver,  Silas 1138 

WeUs,  Augustus  L 840 

Wells,  Jonathan  R 842 

Wilcox,  John  A 204 

Wright,  Stephen  A 628 


Map  of  Washington  and  Kent  Counties  1 

Residence  of  Edwin  Thompson 300 

Printing  Press  Manufactory  of  C.  B.  Cottrell  &  Sons 389 

Bung-Town  Patriot  853 

Views  at  Davisville 406 

Residence  of  Allen  Reynolds 414 



Rodman  Manufacturing  Company 415 

House  of  Mrs.  H.  Allen 418 

House  of  Robert  Rodman 418 

House  of  Walter  Rodman 418 

House  of  Franklin  Rodman 418 

Quidnessett — Home  of  tlie  late  Nicholas  Boone  Spink 441 

Cold  Spring  House 459 

Hazard  Memorial  Castle 574 

Druidsdream 576 

The  Cottage — Home  of  the  late  Isaac  P.  Hazard 592 

The  Home  of  the  late  Rowland  Gibson  Hazard,  LL.D 594 

Oakwoods — House  of  Rowland  Hazard 596 

The  Acorns — House  of  Rowland  G.  Hazard 598 

Peace  Dale  Mills 603 

Congregational  Church,  Peace  Dale,  R.  1 606 

Home  of  the  late  Stephen  A.  Wright 629 

Residence  of  the  late  John  T.  Gardner 668 

Plainview — Residence  of  Z.  Herbert  Gardner 685 

E.  Kenyon  &  Son's  Woolen  MiUs 722 

W.  A.  Walton  &  Co.'s  Wood  River  Mills 755 

Nichols  &  Langworthy  Machine  Company's  Works 804 

Views  at  the  Old  Forge,  Powtowomut  Neck 922 

Sunny-Side — Residence  of  Enos  Lapham 966 

Ehzabeth  MiUs 1024 

East  Greenwich  Academy 1078 

Residence  of  Lauriston  H.  Greene 1133 




WVW".  PRBSTOH  &  CO..  PtiWishers 

7l°J4ff    LoKgitudp  Wegt  iVcmi  Oeeiwidli  71' 


Washington  and  Kent  Counties. 



The  Indian  Country  and  Its  Bisoovery  by  the  White  Settlers.  —The  Significant 
Challenge.— The  Erection  of  an  Indian  Fort.— The  Narragansett  Indians.— 
The  Visit  of  the  Great  Sachem.— The  Various  Tribes  of  Indians  arid  Their 
Modes  of  Warfare  and  Subsistence.— Indian  Gods.— Lands  Deeded  to  Roger 
Williams  by  the  Indians.— Williams'  Letters.— The  Pequots.— The  Behavior 
of  the  Pequots  Toward  Other  Indians  and  the  Whites.— Contentions  Al)out 
Misquamicut.— Preparations  for  War.— Trumbull's  Description  of  the  Fight. 
— The  Warwick  Purchase.— War  with  the  Mohegans.— Miantinomo.— Nian- 
tics. — Ninigret  and  his  Successors,  by  W.  F.  Tucker.— The  Sachems  of  the 
Various  Tribes. — The  Manisses  and  Montauks  and  Their  Feuds,  by  F.  Deni- 
son.— The  Great  Swamp  Figlit,  by  John  G.  Clarke. 

IN  April,  1606,  King  James  I.  divided  the  country  claimed  in 
America  into  two  portions.  The  sotith  half  he  allotted  to  a 
London  company ;  the  north  half  to  a  company  established 
at  Plymouth,  in  the  west  of  England.  The  council  established 
at  Plymouth  was  made  patent  in  the  year  ]620,  incorporating 
Lords  Lenox,  Arundel,  Hamilton,  Warwick  and  other  lords  and 
gentlemen  to  the  number  of  forty.  In  the  summer  of  1621  Ply- 
mouth sent  Edward  Winslow  and  Stephen  Hopkins  to  take  a  view 
of  Massasoit  and  his  country.  These  brought  word  on  their  re- 
turn, of  the  Narragansetts,  a  people  that  lived  on  the  other  side 
of  the  great  bay,  which  were  reported  as  a  people  strong  and 
many  in  numbers.  This  was  probably  the  first  intimation  that 
the  English  had  of  the  existence  of  the  Narragansetts. 

Upon  the  arrival  of  the  whites  in  Narragansett  they  found  a 

land  overhung  by  a  dense  cloud,  and  a  people  covered  by  a  great 

darkness.     On  the  one  side  rolled  the  mysterious  ocean,  on  the 

other  was  a  forest  of  mantled  mountains  and  valleys,  tameless 



beasts,  and  but  partial  clearings  in  the  glens  and  by  the  river 
banks.  No  rivers  were  bridged,  no  roads  were  opened,  no  cities 
nor  towns  nor  even  villages  were  founded,  and  nothing  to  show 
human  animation  save  here  and  there  the  smoke  of  some  frail 
wigwam,  or  the  bark  canoes  of  a  swarthy,  half  clad  pagan  tribe, 
descending  the  shaded  rivers,  or  they  themselves  creeping 
stealthily  along  their  shores.  Here  was  a  wilderness,  indeed, 
with  none  but  wild  men  within  the  gates.  But  here  again  was 
the  opportunity  to  test  the  boasted  light  of  nature,  and  to  ascer- 
tain what  man's  illumination  could  do  on  a  grand  scale.  Here 
was  a  land  of  people  with  no  literature,  no  monuments,  and  with 
no  lineage  of  their  fatherhood.  All  before  this  era  of  American 
history  had  been  darkness,  bewilderment,  weakness  and  moral 
decay ;  and  here  the  histor}^  of  the  Narragansett  country  begins. 

We  are  to  treat  first  of  the  Aborigines  who  inhabited  the 
southern  portion  of  Rhode  Island.  The  tribes  that  first  and  last 
within  the  memory  of  the  whites  claimed  jurisdiction  over  this 
country  were  three — the  Niantics,  the  Pequots  and  the  Narragan- 

The  first  intercourse  the  whites  had  with  the  Indians  was  of  a 
hostile  character,  and  ominous  of  evil.  The  Narragansetts  sent 
messengers  to  Plymouth,  with  a  bundle  of  arrows  tied  together 
with  a  .snake-skin.  The  Indian  who  served  the  colonists  as  inter- 
preter told  them  it  was  a  challenge.  The  governor  returned 
them  a  very  rough  answer,  that  they  might  begin  war  when  they 

In  the  summer  of  1622  the  Plymouth  settlers,  somewhat  fear- 
ful that  the  Indians  would  commit  depredations,  built  a  fort  for 
protection  against  them,  for  they  had  very  improperly  assisted 
Massasoit  against  the  Narragansetts,  and  when  the  latter  had 
captured  the  former  and  carried  him  off  into  captivity,  the  Eng- 
lish assisted  in  his  deliverance,  which  they  knew  the  Narragan- 
setts would  resent.  The  Narragansetts  and  Massasoit  were  at 
variance  on  the  arri^'al  of  the  English,  and  Massasoit  probably 
endeavored  to  make  rise  of  the  English  to  render  himself  inde- 
pendent of  the  Narragansetts.  There  were  frequent  broils  be- 
tween these  tribes,  and  in  1632,  because  of  a  difference,  the  Nar- 
ragansetts attacked  the  English  house  at  Pokanoket,  as  was  said 
to  take  Massasoit,  but  retired  suddenly  to  fight  the  Pequots,  with 
whom  they  were  then  out. 

In  1631  Canonicus'  son,  the  great  sachem  of  the  Narragansetts, 


came  to  the  governor's  house  with  John  Sagamore.  After  they 
had  dined  he  gave  the  governor  a  skin,  and  the  governor  re- 
quited him  with  a  fair  pewter  pot,  which  he  took  very  thankfully 
and  staid,  all  night.  In  August  of  1632  Miantinomo  went  to  Bos- 
ton with  his  squaw  and  twelve  sannups,  and  while  he  was  attend- 
ing a  sermon  with  the  governor  three  of  his  sannups  broke  into 
a  dwelling  house.  Upon  the  complaint  of  the  governor  and  at 
his  request  Miantinomo  caused  them  to  be  flogged  and  sent  them 

The  Narragansett  tribe  anciently  held  jurisdiction  over  most 
of  the  present  state  of  Rhode  Island.  In  their  palmy  days  they 
were  able  to  call  into  the  field  (when  Canonicus  and  Miantinomo 
ruled  over  them)  about  four  thousand  warriors.  They  had  rule 
over  the  tribes  of  Misquamicut,  ?'.  e.,  the  townships  of  Westerly, 
Hopkinton,  Charlestown  and  Richmond  (the  original  limits  of 
the  town  of  Westerly),  through  their  allies  or  confederates,  the 
Niantics  ;  the  island  of  Rhode  Island  and  Shawomet.  By  this 
coalition,  however,  the  sceptre  of  the  Narragansetts  virtually 
extended  to  the  Pawcatuck.  After  King  Phillip's  war  these  tf  ibes 
have  all  been  spoken  of  under  the  title  of  Narragansetts,  al- 
.though  the  Niantics  stood  aloof  from  this  conspiracy,  and  there- 
fore suffered  but  little  in  that  bloody" campaign. 

The  Indians  on  the  reservation  from  the  first  were  largely 
Niantics,  and  their  name  should  have  been  retained.  The  Nar- 
ragansetts subsisted  by  hunting  and  fisljing,  and  partially  by 
agriculture.  Their  lands  for  eight  or  ten  miles  distant  from  the 
sea-shore  were  cleared  of  wood,  and  on  these  praries  they  raised 
Indian  corn  in  abundance,  and  furnished  the  early  settlers  of 
Plymouth  and  Massachusetts  with  large  quantities  for  subsistence. 
They  were  a  strong,  generous  and  brave  race.  They  were  al- 
Avays  more  civil  and  courteous  to  the  English  than  any  of  the 
other  tribes.  Their  kind  and  hospitable  treatment  of  the  immi- 
grants to  Rhode  Island,  and  the  welcome  reception  they  gave  our 
persecuted  ancestors  should  endear  their  name  to  us  all. 

In  civilization  the  Narragansetts  were  in  advance  of  their 
neighbors.  Hutchinson  says  that  they  were  the  most  curious 
coiners  of  wampumpeage,  and  supplied  other  nations  with  their 
pendants  and  bracelets,  and  also  with  tobacco  pipes  of  stone  ; 
some  blue  and  some  white.  They  furnished  the  earthen  vessels 
and  pots  for  cookery  and  other  domestic  uses.     They  were  con- 


sidered  a  commercial  people,  and  not  only  began  a  trade  with 
the  English  for  goods  for  their  own  consumption,  but  soon  learned 
to  supply  other  distant  nations  at  advanced  prices,  and  to  receive 
beaver  and  other  furs  in  exchange,  upon  which  they  made  a 
profit  also.  Various  articles  of  their  skillful  workmanship  have 
been  found  from  time  to  time,  such  as  stone  axes,  tomahawks, 
mortars,  pestles,  pipes,  arrowheads,  peage,  etc. 

Of  their  integrity,  virtue  and  morals,  Roger  Williams,  after  a 
residence  of  six  years  among  them,  says  :  "  I  could  never  discern 
that  excess  of  scandalous  sins  among  them  which  Europe 
abounded  with.  Drunkenness  and  gluttony  they  know  what 
sins  they  be,  and  though  they  have  not  so  much  to  restrain  them 
as  the  English  have,  yet  a  man  never  hears  of  such  crimes  among 
them  as  robberies,  murders,  adulteries,  etc." 

Updike  says  :  "  The  government  of  the  Narragansetts  appears 
to  have  been  a  patriarchial  despotism.  On  the  arrival  of  the 
English  there  were  two  chief  sachems — Canonicus  and  Mian- 
tinomo — and  under  them  several  subordinate  ones.  The  different 
small  tribes  under  the  several  sub-sachems,  composed  the  great 
Narragansett  nation.  The  succession  to  chief  authority  was 
generally  preserved  in  the  same  family.  The  sub-sachems  oc- 
cupied the  soil,  and  were  reinoved  from  it  at  the  will  and  pleasure 
of  their  chiefs." 

The  Narragansett  country  became  circumscribed  as  Canonicus 
and  Miantinomo  sold  off  their  territory.  After  the  sale  of  Provi- 
dence to  Williams,  the  island  of  Rhode  Island  to  Coddington, 
and  Shawomet  or  old  Warwick  to  Gorton,  and  their  respective 
associates,  those  territories  virtually  ceased  to  be  called  Narra- 
gansett. After  East  Greenwich  was  erected  into  a  township  in 
1667  the  name  of  Narragansett  was  circumscribed  to  the  limits 
of  the  present  county  of  Washington,  bounding  northerh-  on 
Hunt's  river  and  the  south  line  of  the  county  of  Kent. 

In  speaking  of  their  gods  Denison  says  :  "  Of  the  religion  of 
the  aborigines  of  Rhode  Island,  Roger  Williams,  their  intimate 
friend,  in  a  letter  under  date  of  Feb.  28,  1638  (new  style),  says, 
'  They  have  plenty  of  gods,  or  divine  powers ;  the  Sun,  Moone, 
Fire,  Water,  Earth,  the  Deere,  the  Beare,  &c.  ...  I  broiight 
home  lately  from  the  Narrhiggansicks  |  Narragansetts]  the  names 
of  thirty-eight  of  their  gods, — all  they  could  remember.'  They 
made  no  images  ;  their  divinities  were  ghosts ;  they  were  ex- 


treme  spiritualists.  Every  element  and  material  and  object  had 
its  ruling  spirit,— called  a  '  god  '  or  '  manitou.'  These  divinities 
seemed  ever  passionate  and  engaged  in  war  with  each  other ; 
hence  the  passionate  and  warlike  character  of  the  worshipers. 
They  adored,  not  intelligence  and  virtue,  but  power  and  re- 

"  Every  person  was  believed  to  be  under  the  influence  of  some 
spirit,  good  or  evil, — that  is,  weak  or  strong, — to  further  the  per- 
son's desires.  These  spirits  or  manitous  inhabited  different  ma- 
terial forms,  or  dwelt  at  times  in  the  air.  The  symbolic  signa- 
tures employed  by  sachems  and  chiefs  in  signing  public  deeds, 
represented  in  many  cases  the  forms  inhabited  by  their  guardian 
or  inspiring  spirits ;  these  were  bows,  arrows,  birds,  fishes,  beasts, 
reptiles  and  the  like. 

"  Yet  the  Indians  had  their  superior  gods, — one  of  good  and 
one  of  evil.  They  held  a  tradition  that  their  chief  divinity, 
Kautantowit,  made  the  first  human  pair  from  a  stone  ;  but,  being 
displeased  with  them,  destroyed  them,  and  made  a  second  pair 
from  a  tree,  from  which  last  pair  all  mankind  have  descended. 
Such  tradition  seems  to  contain  an  allusion  to  Eden  and  the 
flood.  The  story  not  unlikely  was  brought  by  their  fathers  from 

"  Roger  Williams  says,  'They  had  many  strange  relations  bf 
one  Wetucks,  a  man  that  wrought  great  miracles  amongst  them, 
and  walked  upon  the  waters,  &c.,  with  some  kind  of  broken  re- 
semblance to  the  .Sonne  of  God.'  They  believed  that  Kautanto- 
wit resided  far  away  to  the  southwest,  in  the  land  of  soft  winds, 
summer  warmth,  perennial  fruits  and  prolific  hunting  grounds. 
The  highest  hope  of  the  Indian,  at  his  death,  was  that  he  might 
safely  reach  Kautantowit's  sunny  fields.  But  they  held  that  the 
grossly  wicked,  cowards,  liars,  thieves,  murderers  and  traitors 
would  forever  wander  in  regions  of  coldness,  barrenness  and 

"  The  two  great  divinities  among  the  Pequots  were  Kitchtau, 
the  author  of  good,  and  Hobamocho,  the  author  of  evil.  It  is 
reporied  that  on  great  and  urgent  occasions  they  offered  human 
sacrifices.  The  report  should  have  the  favor  of  a  doubt.  It  is 
not  known  that  they  had  altars  capable  of  such  a  use.  It  is  not 
at  all  probable  that  such  sacrifices  were  ever  offered  on  the  soil 
of  Mi.squamicut  or  within  the  bounds  of  Rhode  Island." 

6  history  of  washington  and  kent  counties. 

Confirmatory  Deed  of  Roger  Williams  and  His  Wife,  of 
Lands  Transferred  kv  Him  to  His  Associates,  rx  the 
Year   1638. 

"  Be  it  known  unto  all  men  by  these  Presents,  that  I,  Roger 
Williams,  of  the  Towne  of  Providence,  in  the  Narragansett  Bay, 
in  New  England,  having  in  the  yeare  one  thousand  six  hundred 
and  thirty-four,  and  in  the  yeare  one  thousand  six  hundred  and 
thirty-five,  had  several!  treaties  with  Conanicusse  and  Mian- 
tonome,  the  chief  sachems  of  the  Narragansetts,  and  in  the  end 
purchased  of  them  the  lands  and  meadows  upon  the  two  ffresh 
rivers  called  Mooshassick  and  Wanasquatucket ;  the  two  said 
sachems  having  by  a  deed  under  their  hands,  two  yeares  after 
the  sale  thereof,  established  and  conffirmed  the  boundes  of  these 
landes  from  the  river  ffields  of  Pawtuckqut  and  the  great  hill  of 
Neotaconconitt  on  the  northwest,  and  the  towne  of  Moshapauge 
on  the  west,  notwithstanding  I  had  the  frequent  promise  of 
Miantenomy,  my  kind  friend,  that  it  should  not  be  land  that  I 
should  want  about  these  bounds  mentioned,  provided  that  I  satis- 
fied the  Indians  there  inhabiting,  I  having  made  covenantes  of 
peaceable  neighborhood  with  all  the  sachems  and  natives  round 
about  us.  And  having,  in  a  sense  of  God's  merciful  providence 
unto  me  in  my  distresse,  called  the  place  Providence,  I  desired 
it  might  be  for  a  shelter  for  persons  distressed  of  conscience  ; 
I  then,  considering  the  condition  of  divers  of  my  distressed 
countrymen,  I  communicated  my  said  purchase  unto  my  loving 
ffriends  John  Throckmorton,  William  Arnold,  William  Harris, 
Strikely  Westcott,  John  Greene,  senior,  Thomas  Olney,  senior, 
Richard  Waterman  and  others,  who  then  desired  to  take  shelter 
here  with  me,  and  in  succession  unto  so  many  others  as  we  should 
receive  into  the  fellowship  and  societye  enjoying  and  disposing 
of  the  said  purchase  ;  and  besides  the  flfirst  that  were  admitted, 
our  towne  records  declare  that  afterwards  wee  received  Chad 
Brown,  William  ffield,  Thomas  Harris,  sen'r,  William  Wicken- 
den,  Robert  Williams,  Gregory  Dexter,  and  others,  as  our  towne 
booke  declares.  And  whereas,  by  God's  merciful!  assistance,  I 
was  the  procurer  of  the  purchase,  not  by  monies  nor  payment, 
the  natives  being  so  shy  and  jealous  that  monies  could  not  doe 
it ;  but  by  that  language,  acquaintance,  and  favour  with  the  na. 
fives,  and  other  advantages,  which  it  pleased  God  to  give  me, 
and  also  bore  the  charges  and  venture  of  all  the  gratuetyes  which 
I  gave  to  the  great  sachems,  and  other  sachems  and  natives  round 


about  us,  and  lay  ingaged  for  a  loving  and  peaceable  neighbor- 
hood with  them,  all  to  my  great  charge  and  travele  ;  it  was,  there- 
fore, thought  by  some  loving  ffriends,  that  I  should  receive  some 
loving  consideration  and  gratuitye  ;  and  it  was  agreed  between 
us,  that  every  person  that  should  be  admitted  into  the  ffellowship 
of  injoying  landes  and  disposing  of  the  purchase,  should  pay 
thirtye  shillinges  into  the  public  stock  ;  and  fhrst  about  thirtye 
poundes  should  be  paid  unto  myselfe  by  thirty  shillings  a  person, 
as  they  were  admitted.  This  sum  I  received  in  love  to  my 
ffriends ;  and  with  respect  to  a  towne  and  place  of  succor  for  the 
distressed  as  aforesaid,  I  doe  acknowledge  the  said  sum  and  pay- 
ment as  ffuU  satisffaction.  And  whereas,  in  the  year  one  thou- 
sand six  hundred  and  thirtye  seaven,  so  called,  I  delivered  the 
deed  subscribed  by  the  two  aforesaid  chiefe  sachems,  so  much 
thereof  as  concerneth  the  aforementioned  landes  ffrom  myselfe 
and  my  heirs  unto  the  whole  number  of  the  purchasers,  with  all 
my  poweres,  right  and  title  therein,  reserving  only  unto  myselfe 
one  single  share  equall  unto  any  of  the  rest  of  that  number,  I 
now  againe,  in  a  more  fformal  wa}',  under  my  hand  and  seal, 
conffirm  my  fformer  resignation  of  that  deed  of  the  landes  afore- 
said, and  bind  myselfe,  my  heirs,  my  executors,  my  administra- 
tors and  assignes,  never  to  molest  any  of  the  said  persons  already 
received  or  hereafter  to  be  received  into  the  societye  of  pur- 
chasers as  aforesaid  ;  but  they,  theire  heires,  executors,  adminis- 
trators and  assignes,  shall  at  all  times  quietly  and  peaceably  in  joy 
the  premises  and  every  part  thereof  ;  and  I  do  ffurther,  by  these 
presents,  binde  myselfe,  my  heirs,  my  exectitors,  my  administra- 
tors and  assignes,  never  to  lay  claime  nor  cause  any  claime  to  be 
laid,  to  any  of  the  landes  aforementioned,  or  unto  any  part  or 
parcell  thereof,  more  than  unto  mine  owne  single  share,  by  vir- 
tue or  pretence  of  any  former  bargaine,  sale  or  mortgage,  what- 
soever, or  joyntures,  thirdes  or  intails  made  by  me  the  said  Roger 
Williams,  or  of  any  other  person,  either  for,  by,  through  or  under 
me.  In  wittnesse  thereof,  I  have  hereunto  sett  my  hand  and 
seale  this  twenty eth  day  of  December  in  the  present  year  one 
thousand  six  hundred  and  sixty  one. 

"  Roger  Williams,     [l.  s.J 

"  Signed,  sealed  and  delivered,  in  presence  of  us, 

"  Thomas  Smith, 
" Joseph  Carpextek. 


"  I,  Mary  Williams,  wife  unto  Roger  Williams,  doe  assent  unto 
the  premises.     Wittness  my  hand  this  twentyeth  day  of  Decem- 
ber, in  the  present  year  one  thousand  six  hundred  and  sixty-one. 
"The  marke  of  M.  W.        Mary  Williams. 
"  Acknowledged  and  subscribed  before  me. 

"  WlLLlAAF  Ffeild,  General/  Assistant." 

The  lands  transferred  by  Roger  Williams  to  his  associates  were 
subsequently  divided  into  what  are  called  "  home  lots "  and 
"six  acre  lots."  In  the  clerk's  office  of  the  city  of  Providence  is 
a  revised  list  of  lands  and  meadows  as  they  were  originally  lot- 
ted, from  the  beginning  of  the  plantation  of  Providence  in  the 
Narragansett  Bay,  in  New  England,  unto  the  then  inhabitants 
of  the  said  plantation.  The  first  in  order  are  the  "home  lots," 
beginning  at  the  "  Mile  end  Cove,"  at  the  south  end  of  the  town, 
between  Fox  Point  and  Wickenden  street.  This  book  gives  a 
list  of  fifty-four  persons  who  "  received  their  lots  with  their  loca- 
tion." Here  we  find  the  founders  of  the  state  of  Rhode  Island. 
Their  names  are  perpetuated  and  transmitted  to  us  by  pages  of 
various  histories  ;  by  inheritance  of  their  numerous  descend- 
ants ;  and  finally,  by  being  connected  with  the  establishment  of 
a  colony  among  the  Indians  of  North  America,  and  the  toleration 
of  religious  liberty. 

A  Partial  List  of  the  Fifty-four  Nanh:s. 

Roger  Williams,  William  Wickenden, 

William  Harris,  John  Lippitt, 

John  Greene,  Robert  West, 

William  Arnold,  Joshua  Winsor, 

John  Smith,  Thomas  Hopkins, 

Gregory  Dexter,  John  Sweet, 

Chad  Brown,  Edward  Hart, 

Daniel  Abbott,  William  Man, 

Thomas  Angell,  Francis  Weston, 

William  Reynolds,  Richard  Scott, 

Thomas  Olney,  Robert  Cole, 

William  Carpenter,  Thomas  James. 

Dep(.)Sitk)N  of  Roger  AVilliams  Rela'itve  to  this  Purchase 
FR(_)M  the  Indians. 

"Narraliaxsett,  18  June,  l(i82. 
"  I  testify,  as  in  the  presence  of  the  all-making  and  all-seeino- 
'  -od,  that  about  fifty  years  since,  I  coming  into  this  Narragansett 


country,  I  found  a  great  contest  between  three  sachems,  two  (to 
wit,  Cononicus  and  Miantonomy)  were  against  Ousamaquin  on 
Plymouth  side ;  I  was  forced  to  travel  between  them  three,  to 
pacify,  to  satisfy  all  their  and  their  dependents'  spirits  of  my 
honest  intentions  to  live  peaceably  by  them.  I  testify,  that  it 
was  the  general  and  constant  declaration,  that  Cannonicus,  his 
father,  he  had  three  sons,  whereof  Connonicus  was  the  heir,  and 
his  youngest  brother's  son  Miantinomy  (because  of  his  youth), 
was  his  Marshal  and  Executioner,  and  did  nothing  without  his 
unkle  Cannonicus'  consent.  And  therefore  I  declare  to  posterity, 
that  were  it  not  for  the  favor  that  God  gave  me  with  Cannonicus, 
none  of  these  parts,  no,  not  Rhode  Island,  had  been  purchased 
or  obtained,  for  I  never  got  any  thing  out  of  Cannonicus  but  by 
gift.  I  also  profess  that,  being  inquisitive  of  what  root  the  title 
or  denomination  Nahiganset  should  come,  I  heard  that  Nahigan- 
set  was  so  named  from,  a  little  Island'  between  Puttisquomscut 
and  Musquomacuk  on  the  sea,  and  fresh  water  side.  I  went  on 
purpose  to  see  it,  and  about  the  place  called  Sugar  Loaf  Hill,  I 
saw  it,  and  was  within  a  pole  of  it,  but  could  not  learn  why  it 
was  called  Nohiganset.  I  had  learnt  that  the  Massachusetts  was 
so  called  from  the  Blue  Hills,  a  little  Island  thereabout ;  and 
Cannonicus'  father  and  anchestors  living  in  those  southern  parts, 
transferred  and  brought  their  authority  and  name  into  those 
northern  parts  all  along  by  the  sea  side,  as  appears  by  the  great 
destruction  of  wood  all  along  near  the  sea  side  ;  and  I  desire 
posterity  to  see  the  gracious  hand  of  the  Most  Pligh  (in  whose 
hands  is  all  hearts),  that  when  the  hearts  of  my  countrymen  and 
friends  and  brethren  failed  me,  his  infinite  wisdom  and  luerits 
stirred  up  the  barbarous  heart  of  Cannonicus  to  love  me  as  his 
son  to  his  last  gasp,  by  which  means  I  had  not  only  Miantonomy 
and  all  the  Cowesit  sachems  my  friends,  but  Ousamaquin  also, 
who,  because  of  my  great  friendship  with  him  at  Plymouth,  and 
the  authority  of  Cannonicus,  consented  freely  (being  also  well 
gratified  by  me)  to  the  Governor  Winthrop's  and  my  enjoyment 
of  Prudence,  yes,  of  Providence  itself,  and  all  the  other  lands  I 
procured  of  Cannonicus  which  were  upon  the  point,  and  in  effect 
whatsoever  I  desired  of  him.  And  I  never  denyed  him  nor  Mian- 
tinomy whatever  they  desired  of  me  as  to  goods  or  gifts,  or  use 
of  my  boats  or  pinnace,  and  the  travels  of  my  own  person  day 
and  night,  which,  though  men  know  not,  nor  care  to  know,  yet 


the  all-seeing  eye  hath  seen  it,  and  his  all-powerful  hand  hath 
helped  me.     Blessed  be  his  holy  name  to  eternity. 

"  R.  Williams." 

The  Pcquot  Indians  occupied  the  neighborhood  of  New  London, 
Groton  and  Stonington,  with  the  Mohegans  on  the  north  of  them. 
They  came  originally  from  the  head  waters  of  the  Hudson. 
They  supplanted  the  old  Niantic  tribe  and  were  the  most  war- 
like and  cruel  of  all  the  New  England  tribes.  Sassacus,  their 
sachem,  had  a  strong  fort  between  New  London  and  the  Mystic 
river.  Their  bows  and  battle  axes  were  a  terror  in  all  the  land. 
The  terrible  murders  perpetrated  by  them  and  the  awful  tortures 
which  they  inflicted  upon  their  English  captives  were  sure  warn- 
ings to  the  white  people  that  something  must  be  speedily  done  to 
check  them  or  the  colonists  would  be  totally  annihilated.  Acting 
upon  the  maxim  that  to  the  victors  belong  the  spoils,  they  claimed 
even  the  region  of  the  Misquamicut,  and  hence  aimed  to  expel 
the  Eastern  Niantics.  The  disputed  territory  now  became  the 
theatre  of  invasions  and  struggles.  In  April,  1632,  the  Pequots 
met  the  united  Narragansetts  and  after  a  fierce  struggle  extended 
their  territory  ten  miles  east  of  the  Pawtucket.  This  claim  was 
continued  after  the  first  settlement  of  the'  whites,  and  was  the 
occasio;i  of  the  disputed  boundaries  between  the  colonies. 

On  the  first  day  of  May,  1637,  the  general  court  of  Connecticut 
assembled  at  Hartford,  declared  war  against  the  Pequots,  raised 
an  army  of  ninety  men,  and  appointed  Captain  John  IMason  com- 
mander-in-chief of  the  expedition.  The  soldiers  were  enlisted 
and  sailed  from  Hartford  May  10th,  1037,  accompanied  byL^ncas 
and  seventy  friendly  Indians.  The  little  fleet,  which  consisted 
of  three  vessels,  met  adverse  winds  and  finally  sailed  into  Narra- 
gansett  ba5^  Here  on  Tuesday  evening,  Alay  23d,  the  gallant 
little  band  landed,  and  immediately  set  out  for  the  residence  of 
Miantinomo.  Mason  marched  the  next  morning,  Alay  24th,  for  the 
Pequot  fort.  As  he  proceeded  on  his  journey  he  was  reinforced  by  a 
large  party  of  Narragansetts  sent  on  by  Miantinomo.  Their  line 
of  march  from  Narragansett  was  along  the  old  Indian  path  trav- 
eled from  time  immemorial  by  the  savages,  and  was  on  the  great 
highway  for  all  travel  from  Boston  and  the  north  and  east  to 
Connecticut  and  New  York,  the  route  being  near  the  present 
Post  road,  through  Tower  Hill,  Wakefield,  Charlestown  and 
Westerly.     The  next  evening  Mason  reached  Niantic  fort. 

This  fort  was  built  on  Fort  Neck,  which  is  about  twelve  miles 


to  the  east  of  Westerly,  and  perhaps  eighty  rods  to  the  south- 
west of  Cross'  mills.  The  land  has  steep  laanks  on  the  south  side, 
next  to  the  water,  and  it  projects  into  Pawaget  or  Charlestown 
pond.  The  remains  of  the  old  fortress  are  still  visible,  with 
-traces  of  ditches  and  a  wall  of  stone  and  earth.  It  was  torn 
down  by  the  white  people,  and  the  larger  part  of  the  stones  used 
in  building  a  wall  to  inclose  the  land.  This  fort  contained  three- 
fourths  of  an  acre,  and  appears  in  the  form  of  a  square.  There 
were  three  bastions,  twenty  feet  square,  one  on  each  of  three 
angles  or  corners,  which  completely  covered  the ,  ditches  and 
walls  of  the  fort.  It  appears  that  the  main  entrance  to  the  fort 
was  reached  at  the  south  corner  near  the  pond,  and  the  only 
corner  without  a  bastion.  On  the  24th  of  May,  1637,  while  Mason 
and  his  troops  halted  here,  it  was  then  garrisoned  by  a  large 
body  of  the  Niantics,  who  would  not  allow  any  of  Mason's  men 
to  enter  the  fortification.  Undoubtedly  it  was  a  strong  and  well 
fortified  position.  Here  then,  is  one  particular  instance  on 
record  in  which  the  condition  of  the  Niantic  fort  was  known  to 
the  English. 

This  fort  Mason  surrounded  until  morning  to  prevent  any 
treachery  of  the  Niantics.  After  a  fatiguing  march  of  twelve 
miles  he  reached  the  fording  place  in  Pawcatuck  river.  After 
dinner  Mason  continued  his  march  on  to  Taugwonk  in  Stoning- 
ton.  Here  he  halted  and  learned  for  the  first  time  that  the  Pe- 
quots  had  two  very  strong  forts.  He,  however,  resolved  to  move 
on  and  attack  the  fort  at  Mystic.  The  guides  brought  them  to 
the  fort  two  hours  before  light  May  26th,  1637.  Mason  went  for- 
ward, and  when  within  a  rod  of  the  fort  was  discovered  by  a  Pe- 
quot,  who  cried  out,  "Owanux !  Owanux!"  (Englishmen!  Eng- 
lishmen !)  A  hand  to  hand  contest  now  ensued.  Wigwams  and 
fortress  were  set  on  fire  and  the  destruction  was  terrible  beyond 
description.  As  the  Indians  shot  forth  from  their  burning  cells 
they  were  shot  or  cut  to  pieces  by  the  English.  The  violence  of 
the  flames,  the  clashing  and  roar  of  arms,  the  shrieks  and  yells 
of  the  savages  in  the  fort  and  without,  exhibited  an  awful 

After  the  termination  of  this  engagement  the  authorities  de- 
cided to  exterminate  the  ruthless  and  barbarous  Pequots  wholly, 
and  on  the  25th  of  June  the  Connecticut  troops,  together  with  a 
company  from  Massachusetts,  proceeded  westward,  but  of  their 
pursuit  by  the  English  and  Narragansett  and  Mohegan  tribes, 


who  were  friendly  to  the  settlers,  we  have  nothing  further  to  say 
here  except  to  remind  our  readers  of  the  methods  then  in  vogue 
by  the  United  Colonies.  Firstly,  having  used  the  Narragansetts 
and  Mohegans  as  a  scourge  to  the  Pequots  in  exterminating  them 
by  killing  two  thousand  and  capturing  one  thousand  more,  and* 
driving  the  remainder  west  to  the  Hudson  river,  where  they  were 
totally  destroyed  by  the  Mohawks,  they  appropriated  their  lands 
and  taxed  their  allies  for  their  services.  They  then,  with  the  help 
of  the  Mohegans,  whipped  the  Narragansetts,  and  imposed  a  fine 
upon  their  conquered  foes  of  two  thousand  fathoms  of  wampum, 
an  amount  utterly  beyond  their  ability  to  pay,  which  involved 
the  forfeiture  of  their  lands.  Then  thirdly,  they  caused  the 
wiping  out  of  the  Mohegans,  when  their  possessions  were  found 
to  be  more  valuable  than  their  services.  All  of  these  facts  will 
give  thought  for  study  and  reflection  for  the  ambitious  student 
of  Indian  history.  As  we  proceed  these  facts  will  become  more 
apparent,  recollecting  in  the  meanwhile  that  the  bone  of  conten- 
tion which  most  occupied  the  attention  of  that  generation  was 
the  jurisdiction  and  ownership  of  King's  Province  or  Narra- 
gansett  country,  now  Washington  county,  which  was  claimed  by 
Massachusetts,  Connecticut  and  Rhode  Island. 

The  Warwick  Purchase. — On  January  12th,  1642,  the  sale  of 
Warwick  was  made  by  Miantinomo,  chief  sachem  of  Narragan- 
setts, to  Randall  Holden,  John  Green,  John  AVickes,  Francis 
Weston,  Samuel  Gorton,  Richard  Waterman,  John  Warner,  Rich- 
ard Carder,  Samson  Shotton,  Robert  Porter  and  William  Wud- 
dal.  The  deed  was  made  with  the  marks  of  Miantinomo  and  of 
Pomham,  sachem  of  Shawomet,  affixed  to  it. 

Nawashawsuc,  an  under  sachem  of  Massasoit,  also  claimed  a 
right  to  this  tract.  Sacconoco,  a  sachem  of  the  country,  had  in 
1641  made  a  deed  to  William  Arnold,  Robert  Cole  and  AVilliam 
Carpenter,  and  in  1044  he  deeded  a  considerable  tract  to  Benedict 
Arnold.  These  four  persons,  having  submitted  themselves  and 
their  lands  to  Massachusetts,  caused  much  dispute  between  Mas- 
sachusetts and  Rhode  Island.  The  Indians  and  the  settlers  Gor- 
ton and  his  associates  had  previously  incurred  the  displeasure  of 
Massachusetts  and  they  were  therefore  ready  to  interfere.  Pom- 
ham  and  vSacconoco  were  induced  to  make  a  formal  submission 
of  themselves  and  their  lands  also  to  that  state,  but  the  dispute 
turned  upon  the  question  whether  or  not  the  Shawomet  or  War- 
wick tribe  was  independent,  and  if  so  the  sale  from  Miantinomo 


was  void.  From  Roger  Williams'  opinions  it  seems  that  the 
Warwick  tribe  was  subject  to  the  Narragansett  nation,  though 
Miantinomo  seems  to  have  been  unable  to  prove  their  depen- 
dence satisfactorily  to  the  Massachusetts  authorities,  who  would 
not  become  satisfied  because  of  the  interference  of  their  claim 
from  Pomham. 

In  this  dispute  Massachusetts  showed  her  hatred  toward  Mian- 
tinomo because  of  his  testimony,  and  also  an  evident  disposition 
to  retard  the  growth  and  prosperity  of  Rhode  Island.  For  the 
part  Miantinomo  took  in  this  affair  was  the  cause  of  his  being 
cruelly  put  to  death  when  he  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Massa- 
chusetts authorities  in  his  war  with  the  ^Mohegans,  although  the 
authorities  gave  sanctimonious  reasons  for  the  deed.  Gorton 
also  suffered  considerably.  He  was  arrested,  carried  to  Boston, 
tried  and  confined  in  irons  for  a  considerable  time. 

May  19th,  1643,  a  confederation  of  Massachusetts,  Plymouth, 
Connecticut  and  New  Haven,  for  mutual  defense,  was  made  to 
protect  themselves  against  the  Indians.  They  refused  to  admit 
Rhode  Island  into  the  confederacy.  This  body  was  named  the 
"  Commissioners  of  the  United  Colonies."  In  1643  Massachusetts 
procured  an  order  from  Cromwell  and  from  the  Earl  of  Warwick 
for  government  of  Narragansett.  On  jNIarch  17th,  1643-4,  Roger 
Williams  procured  a  patent  for  Rhode  Island,  Providence  Plan- 
tations and  Narragansett,  from  the  Earl  of  Warwick,  governor 
and  admiral  of  the  Plantation  and  the  other  Lords  Commission- 
ers of  the  plantations,  signed  by  all.  The  patent  includes  to  the 
west  the  Narragansett  country  "  the  whole  tract  extending 
about  twenty-five  English  miles  into  the  Pequot  river  and  coun- 
try." This  tract  was  occupied  by  citizens  from  various  parts  of 
the  state.  During  this  same  year  (1643)  the  animosity  which  had 
long  existed  between  the  Narragansetts  and  Mohegans  broke 
out  into  open  war.  There  had  been  an  attempt  made  to  assas- 
sinate Uncas  by  a  Pequot  and  it  was  alleged  that  Miantinomo  en- 
couraged it.  Miantinomo  encouraged  the  Bay  folks  to  send  this 
Pequot  to  Uncas  for  punishment,  but  on  his  way  home  from  a 
visit  to  Boston  the  Pequot  was  put  to  death,  and  it  was  said  Mi- 
antinomo was  the  author  of  this  also. 

A  quarrel  having  arisen  between  Sequassen,  a  sachem  on  the 
Connecticut  river,  and  Uncas,  the  latter  made  war  upon  him, 
whereupon  Miantinomo  assisted  Sequassen,  being  his  friend  and 
relative.    Miantinomo  took  with  him  one  thousand  men  into  this 


war,  having  previously,  according  to  his  agreement,  given  notice 
to  Connecticut  and  Massachusetts  of  his  intention  to  make  war 
on  Uncas.  The  governor  of  Massachusetts  answered  "that  if 
Uncas  had  done  him  or  his  friends  wrong  and  would  not  give 
satisfaction  we  should  leave  him  to  take  his  own  course."  They 
met.  Uncas  had  four  hundred  men.  A  battle  ensued  and  Mi- 
antinomo  was  taken,  it  is  said,  by  the  treachery  of  two  Indians. 
A  heavy  suit  of  armor  which  Gorton  had  lent  him  is  said  to  have 
embarrassed  his  motions  and  rendered  his  capture  less  difficult. 
They  killed  about  thirty  and  caused  the  rest  to  flee.  Among  the 
wounded  were  two  of  Canonicus's  sons  and  a  brother  of  Mianti- 
nomo.  Hubbard  says  that  Uncas  had,  previous  to  the  battle, 
offered  to  decide  the  dispute  by  single  combat. 

After  the  battle  Uncas  carried  Miantinomo  prisoner  to  Hart- 
ford, and  at  his  own  request  left  him  in  custody  of  the  English 
authorities  there.  Miantinomo's  conduct  while  at  Hartford 
seems  to  show  that  he  indulged  an  expectation  (doomed  to  end 
in  disappointment)  that  he  would  receive  more  honorable  treat- 
ment from  the  English  than  he  could  expect  from  his  captor. 
He  gave  information  to  Major  Haines,  the  magistrate  of  Connec- 
ticut, of  a  design  of  the  Narragansetts  to  seize  some  of  the  com- 
missioners and  hold  them  as  hostages  for  his  safety. 

The  commissioners  of  the  colonies  met  at  Boston,  September, 
1643,  and  decided  that  Miantinomo  should  be  put  to  death.  They 
proceeded,  as  was  the  custom  of  the  Puritan  fathers,  to  take 
counsel  of  the  elders  of  the  church,  and  this,  with  many  other 
deeds  of  a  doubtful  character,  passed  under  the  sanction  and  the 
cloak  of  religion. 

The  reasons  assigned  for  the  death  of  Miantinomo  were  these  : 
(1).  It  was  clearly  discovered  there  was  a  general  conspiracy 
among  the  Indians,  and  Miantinomo  was  at  its  head.  (2).  He 
was  a  tu.rbu]ent  and  proud  spirit,  and  would  never  be  at  rest. 
(3).  He  had  promised  to  send  to  Uncas  the  Pequot  who  had  at- 
tempted to  assassinate  him  ;  he  had  put  him  to  death  on  his  way 
home.  (4).  He  beat  one  of  Pomham's  men,  took  away  his  wam- 
pum, and  bid  him  go  and  complain  to  Massachusetts.  The  com- 
missioners therefore  ordered  that  Uncas  should  put  him  to  death, 
and  that  two  Englishmen  should  go  with  him  to  see  the  execu- 
tion done.  In  answer  to  the  above  charges  against  the  great 
Narragansett  chief,  Potter  says  :  "  The  first,  that  Miantinomo 
was  at  the  head  of  an  Indian  conspiracy  against  the  English,  can 


be  refuted  from  their  own  accounts  and  admissions.  To  the 
second,  it  might  have  been  good  policj-  to  have  got  rid  of  so  tur- 
bulent, proud  spirited  and  restless  a  rival,  but  we  see  no  justice 
in  it.  The  third  lacks  proof,  and  even  if  proved,  admits  of  ex- 
planation. The  fourth  is  absolutely  too  trifling  to  be  noticed  at 

According  to  the  decision  Uncas  carried  Miantinomo  to  the 
spot  where  he  had  been  taken,  supposed  to  be  Sachem's  plain, 
and  the  instant  they  arrived  there  one  of  Uncas'  men  split  his 
head  open  from  behind,  killing  him  at  once.  The  Mohegans 
buried  him  at  the  place  of  his  execution,  and  erected  a  great  heap 
or  pillar  on  his  grave.  Trumbull  relates  that  Uncas  cut  a  large 
piece  out  of  his  shoulder  and  ate  it  in  savage  triumph.  Sachem's 
plain  is  in  the  eastern  part  of  Norwich. 

This  was  the  end  of  Miantinomo,  the  most  potent  prince  the 
people  of  New  England  ever  had  any  concern  with  ;  and  this 
was  the  reward  he  received  for  assisting  them  seven  years  before 
in  the  wars  with  the  Pequots.  Surely  a  Rhode  Island  man  may 
be  permitted  to  mourn  his  unhappy  fate  and  drop  a  tear  on  the 
ashes  of  Miantinomo  and  his  uncle  Canonicus,  who  were  the 
best  friends  and  greatest  benefactors  the  colony  ever  had. 
They  kindly  received,  fed  and  protected  the  first  settlers  of  it 
when  they  were  in  distress,  and  were  strangers  and  exiles,  and 
all  mankind  elsewhere  their  enemies,  and  by  this  kindness  to 
them  drew  upon  themselves  the  resentment  of  the  neighboring 
colonies  and  hastened  the  untimely  end  of  the  young  king. 

Miantinomo  was  a  very  good  personage,  of  tall  stature,  subtle 
and  cunning  in  his  contrivements,  as  well  as  haughty  in  his  de- 
signs. Pessicus,  the  new  sachem  (aged  about  twenty),  was  Mian- 
tinomo's  brother.  He  desired  to  make  war  on  Uncas,  and  sent 
presents  to  Massachusetts  to  secure  permission  for  that  purpose, 
but  received  negative  answers  to  both  requests,  and  his  presents 
were  returned.     He  was  told  that  they  would  stand  by  Uncas. 

Canonicus  was  an  old  man  at  the  time  of  the  first  settlement 
in  Rhode  Island.  He  received  and  protected  the  first  settlers, 
and  always  continued  their  friend.  In  his  later  years  he  had 
many  gloomy  fears  and  forebodings  as  to  the  future  state  of  his 
nation.  This  wise  and  peaceful  prince  was  succeeded  by  his  son, 

Henry  E.  Turner,  M.D.,  of  Newport,  in  a  paper  read  before 
the  Historical  Society,  February  27th,  1877,  in  speaking  of  the 


course  pursued  by  the  United  Colonies  after  they  had  extermin- 
ated the  Pequots,  says : 

"  T'le  next  step  necessary  was  to  find  or  create  a  pretext  for 
the  like  treatment  of  the  other  tribes  ;  and  the  Narragansetts 
having  committed  the  indiscretion  (to  use  a  mild  phrase)  of  giv- 
ing harbor  to  the  God-defying  refugees  from  the  just  displeasure 
of  offended  Massachusetts,  were  selected  as  the  first  victims  of 
the  series. 

"  The  United  Colonies,  accordingly,  entered  into  a  league  with 
Uncas,  as  chief  sachem  of  the  Mohegans  (though  there  is  reason 
to  believe  that  only  their  patronage  made  him  so),  under  which 
they  encouraged  him  to  perpetrate  annoyances  and  encroach- 
ments on  the  Narragansetts,  denying  them,  at  the  same  time, 
any  resort  to  their  traditional  methods  of  redress  ;  and  whenever 
any  complaint  was  made  to  them  by  either  Uncas  or  ]\liantonomi 
or  any  adherent  of  either,  their  decision  was,  invariable',  adverse 
to  the  Narragansett,  and  he  was  enjoined  to  good  behaviour  on 
pain  of  punishment  and  the  displeasure  of  the  United  Colonies, 
they  being  the  allies  and  friends  of  Uncas,  as  they  constantl)- 
took  occasion  to  promulgate.  Any  person  who  will  examine 
the  records  of  the  Commissioners  of  the  United  Colonies  im- 
partially will  endorse  the  accuracy  of  this  statement ;  the  in- 
stances are  too  numerous  for  quotation  or  even  for  special  refer- 

"  The  fruits  of  this  policy  were  very  soon  apparent ;  the  Nar- 
ragansetts, denied  justice  by  the  English  and  prohibited  from 
any  retribution  on  the  Mohegans  for  wrongs  suffered  from  them, 
according  to  their  traditional  customs,  were  provoked  into  such 
acts  toward  the  Mohegans  as  made  them  amenable  to  English 
ideas  of  justice,  and  afforded  the  pretexts  which  the  English 
sought.  The  United  Colonies  accordingly,  despite  the  remon- 
strances of  Roger  Williams,  who  knew  all  the  parties  and  ap- 
preciated the  truthful  and  manly  character  of  the  Narragansett 
chief  and  the  wily  and  treacherous  disposition  of  Uncas,  united 
with  the  Mohegans  in  a  war  on  the  Narragansetts,  which  culmi- 
nated in  the  prostration  of  the  Narragansett  power  and  the  cap- 
ture of  Miantonomi. 

"  After  the  mockery  of  a  trial  by  the  English,  at  Hartford, 
Miantonomi  was  given  up  to  Uncas  for  execution,  and  the  Nar- 
ragansett tribe  was  fined  2,000  fathoms  of  peage,  an  amount 
utterly  beyond  their  ability  to  pay.     This  levy  was  founded  on 


the  pretext  principle  of  making  the  conquered  pay  the  expenses 
of  all  parties. 

"  To  enable  the  Indians  to  pay  this  excessive  mulct  after  their 
resources  had  been  drained  by  the  war,  the  principal  men  of  the 
conquering  party,  to  wit,  John  Winthrop,  governor  of  Connecti- 
cut;  Major  Humphrey  Atherton,  Richard  Smith,  Richard 
vSmith,  Jr.,  Lieutenant  William  Hudson,  of  Boston,  Ambrose 
Dickenson,  of  Boston,  and  John  Ticknor,  of  Nashaway  (no  doubt), 
out  of  their  generosity  toward  the  poor  natives,  formed  them- 
selves into  what  we  should  call  a  '  Credit  Mobilier,'  (though  they 
probably  never  heard  that  phrase),  advanced  the  sum  required 
and  received  therefor  deeds  of  the  tract  of  lands  known  ever  af- 
ter as  the  Atherton  Purchase.  One  of  these  was  a  mortgage  of 
course  never  redeemed." 

For  further  consideration  of  this  feature  of  the  subject  the 
reader  is  referred  to  the  history  of  Indians  in  Kent  county. 

The  Great  Swamp  Fight. — After  the  war  between  the  Narra- 
gansetts  and  the  Mohegans,  the  English  in  New  England  en- 
joyed comparative  peace  until  the  year  1671,  when  they  again 
took  up  arms  to  revenge  the  death  of  one  of  their  countrymen 
who  had  been  inhumanly  murdered  by  an  Indian  belonging  to 
the  Nipnet  tribe,  of  which  the  celebrated  Philip,  of  Mount  Hope 
(now  Bristol,  R.  I.),  was  sachem. 

Philip  was  sent  for  by  the  governor  and  council,  before  whom 
he  went  and  made  fair  promises,  but  it  was  soon  discovered  that 
the  wily  Indian  was  playing  a  deep  game,  and  that  he  was  art- 
fully enticing  the  red  men  to  rise  oi  masse  against  the  English . 
and  drive  them  out  of  the  country.  Trumbull  states :  "  The 
Narragansetts  for  this  purpose  had  engaged  to  raise  4,{)U0  fight- 
ing men."  After  a  series  of  wars  this  great  trouble  culminated 
in  the  Narragansett  Swamp  Fight,  of  which  John  G.  Clarke  says: 
"  The  most  important  battle  with  the  Indians  in  New  England 
occurred  on  December  19th,  1675.  The  Narragansett  tribe  of 
Indians  occupied  all  southern  Rhode  Island,  and  before  1620  held 
sway  over  all  the  Indian  tribes  from  the  Pawcatuck  to  the  Merri. 
mac  river  and  could  muster  5,000  fighting  men. 

"  King  Philip,  whose  Indian  name  was  Metacom  or  Pumeta- 
comb,  was  the  son  of  Massasoit.  He  was  a  man  of  great  natural 
ability  and  sagacity,  and  foresaw  that  the  time  must  soon  come 
when  the  white  or  red  men  would  become  the  sole  possessors  of 
the  land.  He  desired  to  unite  all  the  Indian  tribes  in  New 

18  HISTORY    OF    \VASIII.\(;T()\    and    KENT    COUNTIES. 

England  in  a  war  of  extermination  upon  the  white  men.  (_)f  this 
the  English  settlers  were  informed  and  to  get  the  first  advantage 
and  crush  the  Indian  coalition  before  it  became  more  formidable, 
was  the  cause  of  the  war  of  ]  675.  Had  the  English  waited  until 
the  spring  of  1676,  before  they  attacked  the  Indians  in  their 
stronghold,  the  result  might  have  been  very  different.  There 
was  a  tradition  that  Philip  was  in  the  fort  at  the  time  of  the  bat- 
tle but  it  has  since  been  ascertained  that  he  was  many  miles 
away  at  that  time. 

"  The  Narragansetts,  anticipating  a  deadly  war,  selected  as  they 
thought  a  secure  place  in  a  great  swamp,  in  the  western  part  of 
what  is  now  South  Kingstown,  Washington  county,  R.  I.,  con- 
structed a  great  number  of  wigwams,  and  then  collected  the 
most  of  their  men,  women  and  children  and  also  large  quantities 
of  corn  and  provisions.  To  destroy  this  place  and  kill  or  scatter 
the  Indians  was  the  object  of  the  English. 

"The  English  army  organized  for  a^  winter  campaign,  consisted 
of  a  thousand  men  under  the  command  of  (jeneral  John  Wins- 
low,  governor  of  Plymouth  colony.  At  a  meeting  of  the  Com- 
missioners of  the  United  Colonies  held  at  Boston  November  2d, 
167."),  war  was  formerly  declared  against  the  Narragansetts. 

"On  Sunday  December  12th,  the  army  left  Providence  and 
marched  into  '  Pomham's  Country,'  now  Warwick,  and  arrived  at 
Smith  house,  near  Wickford  on  the  13th,  and  there  found  their 
vessels  had  arrived  with  provisions  from  Seekonk.  On  the  14th 
the  army  moved  westward,  destroyed  an  Indian  village  of  one 
hundred  and  fifty  wigwams,  killed  seven  and  captured  nine  In- 
dians. On  Thursday  December  1 6th,  a  portion  of  the  army  un- 
der Captain  Prentice  reached  Pettaquamscutt, where  the  Connecti- 
cut troops  had  arrived,  consisting  of  three  hundred  English  and 
one  hundred  and  fifty  Mohegan  Indians. 

"  The  weather  was  intensely  cold.  A  severe  storm  set  in  and 
the  snow  fell  two  feet  deep.  The  whole  army  encamped  in  an 
open  field.  On  vSunday,  December  19th,  at  an  early  hour,  the 
army  took  up  its  march  for  the  Indian  fort,  not  knowing  its  ex- 
act location.  After  some  circuitous  marching  (as  they  said  some 
sixteen  miles,  the  distance  direct  not  being  more  than  ten),  about 
one  o'clock  the  van  of  the  army  reached  the  vicinity  of  the  fort 
and  halted  upon  rising  ground  near  what  is  now  known  as  the 
'Babcock  house.'  Here  they  captured  alone  Indian,  and  com- 
pelled him  under  pain  of  death,  to  guide  them  to  the  entrance  of 


the  fort,  not  more  than  half  a  mile  distant.  To  the  mutual  sur- 
prise of  both  parties,  the  army  came  suddenly  upon  the  fort,  the 
Massachusetts  regiment  first,  Plymouth  next  and  the  Connecticut 
troops  bringing  up  the  rear.  The  troops  at  once  opened  fire 
■upon  those  Indians  in  sight  and  upon  the  fort.  The  attack  was 
answered  by  a  volley  from  the  Indians  who  fied  into  the  fort. 
The  so-called  fort  was  located  upon  an  island  of  five  or  six  acres, 
the  surface  being  not  more  than  three  feet  above  high  water 
mark.  At  the  east  ran  the  vShickashem  brook,  a  short  distance 
west  the  Usquepaug  river. 

"  The  island  was  surrounded  by  a  dense  swamp,  almost  impene- 
trable, except  when  the  surrounding  water  was  frozen,  and  it  is 
probable  that  the  Indians  relied  mainly  upon  the  swamp  to  pro- 
tect them,  although  they  had  fallen  trees  around  their  wigwams, 
with  the  tops  outward,  and  made  a  sort  of  palisade  for  defense. 
The  work  does  not  seem  to  have  been  quite  completed. 

"  The  entrance  was  at  the  northwest  corner,  along  a  fallen  tree 
across  a  run  of  water.  The  companies  of  Captains  Davenport 
and  Johnson  were  the  first  to  reach  this  entrance,  and  gallantly 
charged  over  the  log  into  the  fort  at  the  head  of  their  companies. 
Johnson  fell  dead  at  the  log,  and  Davenport  a  little  within  the 
fort.  The  troops  met  so  heav}''  a  fire  that  they  were  compelled 
to  fall  back,  and  in  the  .smoke  and  confusion  the  English  killed 
some'of  their  own  men.  At  or  near  the  entrance  there  was  said 
to  be  a  block  house,  from  which  a  galling  fire  was  made  upon  the 
attacking  troops.  Captain  Church,  with  a  few  soldiers,  had 
found  a  weak  place  in  the  rear  of  the  fort,  which,  being  attacked, 
diverted  the  attention  of  the  Indians  from  the  front  or  entrance. 

"The  bloody  contest  lasted  three  hours  with  no  decided  result. 
The  commanding  general  was  advised  to  set  fire  to  the  wigwams, 
of  which  there  were  said  to  be  six  hundred  within  the  fort.  This 
was  contrary  to  the  advice  of  Captain  Church,  who  insisted  that  the 
battle  was  practically  over,  the  Indians  were  retreating,  and  that 
the  English  troops  could  occupy  the  fort  and  rest  after  the  long 
and  weary  march  of  the  morning  and  the  hard  fighting,  but  his 
advice  was  unheeded,  the  fire  was  set,  and  the  whole  fort,  con- 
taining many  wounded  men,  women  and  children,  beside  large 
quantities  of  provisions,  was  consumed. 

"While  the  fort  was  yet  burning  the  army  formed  its  shattered 
columns,  gathering  the  wounded  and  as  many  as  possible  of  the 
dead,  and  commenced  their  dreary  march   back   to  Wickford, 


being  ignorant  of  the  number  of  their  foes  in  the  vicinity,  and 
not  daring  to  encamp  near  the  battle  field. 

"  The  English  loss  was  sixty-eight  killed  and  one  hundred  and 
fifty  wounded.  Several  wounded  died  on  the  march,  from  cold 
and  exposure.  The  Indian  loss  must  have  been  nearly  one 
thousand.  This  must  be  classed  as  one  of  the  most  brilliant 
victories  in  our  history,  and  considering  all  the  difficulties  over- 
come, displaying  stubborn  courage,  patient  endurance,  and  dash- 
ing intrepidity  not  excelled  in  American  warfare." 

The  Great  Swamp  above  referred  to  is  situated  on  the  farm 
now  owned  by  John  G.  Clarke.  There  is  no  doubt  of  the  exact 
location  of  every  point  above  mentioned.  Mr.  Clarke,  who  has 
given  the  subject  much  consideration,  has,  he  says,  plowed  up 
charred  corn,  the  relics  of  the  battle,  and  of  which  the  Indians 
had  great  quantities  stored  up  for  winter  use. 

W.  F.  Tucker,  in  speaking  of  the  different  Indians,  thus  men- 
tions their  sachems  : 

The  Narragansett  Sachems. — Canonicus  was  the  grand  sachem 
of  the  Narragansetts  when  the  whites  settled  at  Plymouth. 
History  gives  no  account  of  his  predecessors.  It  commences 
with  him.  He  died  June  4th,  1647.  Miantinomo  was  his 
nephew,  son  of  his  brother,  Mascus.  Canonicus,  in  his  advanced 
age,  admitted  Miantinomo  into  the  government,  and  they  ad- 
ministered the  sachemdom  jointly.  In  the  war  between  the 
Narragansetts  and  Mohegans,  in  1643,  Miantinomo  was  captured 
by  Uncas,  the  sachem  of  the  Mohegans,  and  executed.  Pessi- 
cus,  the  brother  of  Miantinomo,  was  then  admitted  sachem  with 
Canonicus.  He  was  put  to  death  by  the  Mohawks,  in  1676. 
Canonchet,  the  son  of  the  brave  but  unfortunate  Miantinomo, 
was  the  last  sachem  of  the  race.  He  commanded  the  Indians  in 
the  Great  Swamp  fight  in  1675.  This  battle  exterminated  the 
Narragansetts  as  a  nation.  He  was  captured  near  the  Blackstone 
river,  after  the  war,  and  executed  for  the  crime  of  defending  his 
country,  and  refusing  to  surrender  the  territory  of  his  ancestors 
by  a  treaty  of  peace.  It  was  glory  enough  for  a  nation  to  have 
expired  with  such  a  chief.  The  coolness,  fortitude  and  heroism 
of  his  fall  stands  without  a  parallel  in  ancient  or  modern  times. 
He  was  offered  life  upon  the  condition  that  he  would  treat  for 
the  submission  of  his  subjects ;  his  untamed  spirit  indignantly 
rejected  the  ignominious  proposition.  And  when  he  was  told 
his  sentence  was  to  die,  "  he  .said  he  liked  it  well,  that  he  .should 


die  before  his  heart  was  soft,  or  he  had  spoken  unworthy  of  him- 
self." His  head  was  cut  off,  and  sent  to  Hartford.  The  rest  of 
his  body  was  burnt.  This  ended  the  last  chief  of  the  Narra- 
gansetts,  and  with  Canonchet  the  nation  was  extinguished  for- 

Ninigret  was  the  sachem  or  sagamore  of  the  Niantics,  or  the 
Westerly  tribe,  and  since  the  division  of  that  town,  now  styled 
the  Charlestown  tribe.  Ninigret  was  tributary  to  Canonicus, 
Miantinomo  and  his  successors.  He  was  only  collaterally  re- 
lated to  the  family  of  Conanicus,  Quaiapen,  Ninigret's  sister, 
having  married  Maxanno,  the  son  of  Canonicus.  The  whites 
purchased  Ninigret's  neutrality,  during  the  Indian  war  of  1675, 
and  for  his  treachery  to  his  paramount  sovereign  and  his  race, 
the  "Tribe  Land"  in  Charlestown  was  allotted  to  him  and  his 
heirs  forever,  as  the  price  of  the  treason.  The  Ninigret  tribe 
never  were  the  real  Narragansetts,  whose  name  they  bear.  It  is 
a  libel  on  their  glory  and  their  graves  for  them  to  have  assumed 
it.  Not  one  drop  of  the  blood  of  Canonicus,  Miantinomo  or 
Canonchet  ever  coursed  in  the  veins  of  a  sachem  who  could  sit 
neuter  in  his  wigwam  and  hear  the  guns  and  see  the  conflagra- 
tion ascending  from  the  fortress  that  was  exterminating  their 
nation  forever.  Ninigret  died  soon  after  the  war.  From  this 
Ninigret,  the  succeeding  Indian  sachems  were  descended.  By 
one  wife  he  had  a  daughter,  and  by  another  he  had  a  son,  Nini- 
gret, and  two  daughters  ;  one  of  whom  is  sometimes  designated 
as  the  "  Old  Queen."  On  Ninigret's  death  the  first  named 
daughter  succeeded  him,  and  the  ceremonies  of  her  inauguration 
took  place  at  Chemunganock,  now  known  as  Shumuncanuc. 
These  ceremonies  were  the  presentation  of  peage  and  other 
presents,  as  an  acknowledgment  of  authority ;  and  sometimes  a 
belt  of  peage  was  publicly  placed  on  the  sachem's  head,  as  an 
ensign  of  rank.  On  her  death  her  half  brother,  Ninigret,  suc- 
ceeded. He  died  somewhere  about  1722.  His  will  is  dated  1716- 
17.  He  left  two  sons,  Charles  and  George  Augustus  Ninigret. 
The  former  succeeded  as  sachem,  and  dying,  left  an  infant  son; 
Charles,  who  was  acknowledged  as  sachem  by  a  portion  of  the 
tribe,  but  the  greater  portion  adhered  to  George,  his  uncle,  as 
being  of  pure  royal  blood.  The  dispute  was  encouraged  by  dif- 
ferent white  people,  who  wished  to  retain  an  influence  over  the 
tribe  and  to  purchase  their  lands.  It  seems  to  have  been  ended 
only  by  the  death  of  young  Charles.     George  Augu.stus  was  ac- 


knowledged  as  sachem  m  1736.  He  left  a  widow  and  three  chil- 
dren, Thomas,  George  and  Esther. 

On  Thursday,  the  6th  of  September,  1750,  the  bans  of  marriage 
being  duly  published  at  the  church  of  St.  Paul's,  in  Narragan- 
sett,  no  objection  being  made,  John  Anthony,  an  Indian  man, 
was  married  to  vSarah  (^eorge,  an  Indian  woman,  the  widow  and 
dowager  queen  of  George  (Augustus)  Ninigret,  deceased,  by  Dr. 
McSparran.  Thomas  (commonly  known  as  King  Tom)  was  born 
in  1736,  and  succeeded  as  sachem  in  July,  1746.  While  he  was 
sachem  much  of  the  Indian  land  was  sold,  and  a  considerable 
part  of  the  tribe  emigrated  to  the  state  of  New  York  and  joined 
the  Indians  there. 

William  Kenyon,  late  of  Charlestown,  deceased,  in  a  statement 
to  Wilkins  Updike,  says  :  '  I  knew  King  Tom  Ninigret ;  he  had 
a  son  named  Tom,  his  only  child.  He  went  away  and  died  before 
his  father.  Tom's  brother  George  having  died,  the  crown  de- 
scended to  Esther,  the  next  heir.  I  (continued  Mr.  Kenyon)  saw 
her  crowned,  over  seventy  years  ago.  She  was  elevated  on  a 
large  rock  so  that  the  people  might  see  her ;  the  council  sur- 
rounded her.  There  were  present  about  twenty  Indian  soldiers 
with  guns.  They  marched  her  to  the  rock.  The  Indians  nearest 
the  royal  blood,  in  presence  of  her  councilors,  put  the  crown  on 
her  head.  It  was  made  of  cloth,  covered  with  blue  and  white 
peage.  When  the  crown  was  put  on  the  soldiers  fired  a  royal 
salute  and  huzzaed  in  the  Indian  tongue.  The  ceremony  was 
imposing,  and  everything  was  conducted  with  great  order.  Then 
the  soldiers  waited  on  her  to  her  house,  and  fired  salutes.  There 
were  500  natives  present  besides  others.  Queen  Esther  left  one 
son,  named  George ;  he  was  crowned  after  the  death  of  his 
mother.  I  was  one  of  the  jury  of  inquest  (continues  Air.  Kenyon) 
that  sat  on  the  body  of  George.  He  was  about  22  years  old  when 
he  was  killed.  He  was  where  some  persons  were  cutting  trees. 
One  tree  had  lodged  against  another,  and  in  cutting  that  one  it 
fell  and  caught  against  a  third,  and  George,  undertaking  to 
escape,  a  sharp  knee  struck  him  on  the  head  and  killed  him ;  a 
foot  either  way  would  have  saved  him.  No  king  was  ever 
crowned  after  him,  and  not  an  Indian  of  the  whole  blood  now 
remains  in  the  tribe." 

Thomas  Ninigret,  who  was  better  known  as  King  Tom,  was 
born  in  1736,  and  succeeded  as  sachem  in  July,  1746.     At  the  age 


of  ten  years  he  was  crowned  king  of  the  Niantics.  He  received 
a  common  school  education  in  England,  where  he  was  sent  by 
his  nation ;  and  on  his  return  from  school  he  brought  a  draft  of 
a  house  with  him  ;  and  soon  after  built  the  structure  known  as 
the  Sachem  house,  which  served  him  as  a  dwelling  place  during 
the  remainder  of  his  days.  It  is  commonly  reported  among  the 
people  that  Thomas  Ninigret  was  a  large,  fleshy  man ;  that  he 
had  an  uncommon  appetite  for  strong  drink  ;  and  that  he  became 
a  confirmed  inebriate  toward  the  last  years  of  his  life.  His  wife, 
and  Thomas  Ninigret,  his  only  son,  left  him  and  emigrated  to 
the  West.  Idleness  and  intemperance  soon  reduced  him  to  pov- 
erty and  wretchedness.  His  authority  was  denied  him ;  his 
friends  deserted  him ;  and,  in  brief,  the  most  of  his  property 
passed  out  of  his  hands  to  cancel  his  debts.  He  died  some  time 
between  the  second  Monday  in  September,  1769,  and  the  last 
Monday  in  February,  1770.  Very  soon  after  his  death  a  con- 
siderable portion  of  the  tribe  lands  was  sold  to  defray  his  ex- 
penses. The  King's  mansion  was  purchased  by  Nathan  Kenyon, 
Esq.,  and  from  him  it  descended  to  James  Kenyon,  his  son,  and 
finally  to  James  Nichols  Kenyon,  his  grandson,  the  present 

Esther  Ninigret,  the  only  sister  of  Thomas  Ninigret,  married 
Thomas  Sachem  ;  and  by  him  she  had  a  son  named  George,who  met 
with  a  tragical  fate.  The  coronation  of  Queen  Esther  occurred 
as  early  as  1770,  according  to  the  best  information  that  can  be 
obtained.  The  rock  on  which  she  was  elevated  by  her  friends 
and  councilors,  preparatory  to  the  reception  of  the  crown,  is  sit- 
uated about  twelve  rods  to  the  north  of  the  late  Thomas  Nini- 
gret's  residence.  It  is  an  isolated  rock,  projecting  about  three 
feet  above  the  ground,  well  adapted  to  such  occasion ;  and  it  has 
become  famous  for  this  event. 

George  Sachem,  who  met  a  premature  death  by  a  tree  falling 
upon  him,  was  the  son  of  Queen  Esther.  The  place,  which  has 
often  been  pointed  out,  where  he  was  killed  is  located  about 
sixty  rods  to  the  north  of  the  school  house  pond,  and  at  nearly 
the  same  distance  from  the  child-crying  rocks.  It  has  not  been 
learned,  from  any  source,  that  he  was  ever  crowned,  although 
Mr.  William  Kenyon,  of  Charlestown,  made  the  assertion  many 
years  ago.  But  in  his  death,  when  his  sun  went  down  to  rise  no 
more,  the  nation's  last  and  final  hope  expired. 


''The Manisscs,"  says  Reverend  Mr.  Denison,  "  were  the  inhabit- 
ants of  Manisses,  or  Block  Island.  Our  first  knowledge  of  these 
seems  to  present  them  under  the  sceptre,  or  at  least  as  allies,  of 
the  Niantics,  whose  fortunes  they  usually  shared.  At  one  time 
they  fell  under  the  yoke  of  the  Pequots,  but  shortly  regained 
their  liberty,  and  returned  to  the  protection  of  the  confederated 
Narragansetts  and  Niantics.  This  was  necessarily  a  small  tribe, 
and  never  j-enowned  for  their  exploits. 

"  The  Montimks. — This  tribe  po.ssessed  the  east  end  of  :\Ietoac, 
or  Long  Island.  Thev  were  concerned  with  the  Manisses  and 
Niantics  chief! v  by  predatory  incursions.  They,  too,  for  a  time, 
were  subject  to  the  grasping  Pequots,  but  finall}^  broke  the  yoke. 
Their  notable  sachem  was  Wyandance.  With  this  king,  through 
his  sub  sachem,  or  chief,  called  A.scas.sassatic,  the  Niantic  king 
Ninigret  had  a  war  in  1(;(!4.  The  ilontauks  had  killed  some  of 
the  Niantics.  Ninigret  achieved  some  retaliation.  Wyandance 
then  inflicted  a  blow  upon  Ninigret's  men  on  Block  Island,  where 
the  chiefs  had  agreed  on  a  friendly  visit.  Of  this  feud  Roger 
Williams  says,  '  The  cause  and  root  of  all  the  present  mischief  is 
the  pride  of  the  two  barbarians,  Ascassassatic,  the  Long  Island 
sachem,  and  Ninigret  of  the  Narragansetts :  the  former  is  proud 
and  foolish :  the  latter  is  proud  and  fierce.'  In  this  struggle 
Ninigret  was  the  victor.  The  first  settlers  of  Connecticut  pre- 
sumed to  take  the  Long  Island  Indians  under  their  protection, 
and  sent  messengers  to  Ninigret  to  demand  peace.  Ninigret  an- 
swered, '  The  Long  Island  Indians  began  the  war,  killed  one  of 
my  sachem's  sons  and  sixty  men.  If  your  governor's  son  were 
slain  and  several  other  men,  would  you  ask  coi:nsel  of  another 
nation  how  and  when  to  right  yourself  ?'  Against  Ninigret  was 
sent  a  force  of  two  hundred  and  seventy  foot  and  forty  horse, 
under  Major  Willard.  As  Ninigret  secured  himself  and  his  men 
in  a  swamp,  after  the  Indian  custom,  the  expedition  was  unsuc- 
cessful. Ninigret  had  a  fort,  but  it  was  unsuited  to  meet  the 
assault  of  English  forces  and  arms.  The  swampy  pastures  re- 
ferred to  were  doubtless  the  cedar  swamp  near  Burden's  pond  in 

"  The  manner  in  which  the  once  numerous  Montauks  were 
reduced  to  the  humiliating  necessity  of  seeking  the  protection 
of  the  planters  of  Connecticut,  has  been  transmitted  to  us  by 
tradition.     In  the  bitter  feud  existing  between  Wyandance  and 


Ninigret,  both  tribes  made  preparations  for  aggressive  move- 
ments. On  both  sides  secrecy  was  coupled  with  energy.  Each 
tribe  intended  to  secure  a  victory  by  surprise.  It  so  occurred 
that  both  forces  started  for  attack  on  the  same  night,  a  still, 
moonlight  night  of  Indian  summer.  The  savage  fleets  of  log 
canoes  were  silently,  swiftly  speeding  their  way  across  the  foot 
of  the  Sound.  The  moon  was  high  and  clear  in  the  southwest, 
and  its  beams  were  hence  so  reflected  by  the  glassy  waters  that 
the  Niantic  braves  discovered  the  approaching  Montauk  fleet, 
while  themselves  remained  unseen.  Instantly  Ninigret  ordered 
his  force  to  silently  and  speedily  fall  back  to  their  own  shore 
near  Watch  hill,  where,  hauling  their  canoes  from  the  beach  into 
concealed  positions,  they  posted  themselves  in  ambush  over  the 
sedgy  and  bushy  banks  to  await  the  enemy.  On  came  the  in- 
vading host,  all  unconscious  that  the  reflected  moonbeams  were 
revealing  their  motions  and  the  place  of  their  landing.  Hushed 
and  hopeful  they  struck  the  beach,  hauled  their  fleet  above  the 
tide-marks,  and  were  about  to  form  in  order  for  their  march  and 
marauding.  The  Niantics  now  rose  and  rushed  upon  the  in- 
vaders like  a  tempest.  The  savage  work  was  short  and  sanguin- 
ary. Scarce  a  remnant  of  the  Montauk  host  escaped.  But  Nini- 
gret did  not  relinquish  his  contemplated  invasion.  Following  up 
his  success,  he  embarked  for  Metoac,  where,  finding  the  tribe  of 
Wyandance  unprepared  and  powerless,  he  greatly  weakened 
them  by  slaughter  and  devastation.  He  returned  with  much 
booty,  especially  wampum  and  shells  to  be  carved  into  wampum, 
for  Montauk  was  regarded  as  an  El  Dorado. 

"  We  have  noticed  that  for  a  time  the  Manisses  were  under 
the  Pequot  sceptre.  During  this  period  tradition  informs  us  of  a 
war  between  them  and  the  Narragansetts,  in  the  progress  of 
which  a  princess  of  the  Narragansetts  or  Niantics  was  taken 
prisoner  and  transported  to  the  island.  She  was  redeemable  at 
a  great  price.  The  manner  of  her  redemption  linked  the  event 
with  the  history  of  the  whites.  Thomas  Stanton,  the  celebrated 
Indian  interpreter,  by  leave  of  the  Connecticut  colony,  had  set 
up  a  trading-house  near  the  ford  of  the  Pawcatuck  to  obtain  furs 
and  skins  of  the  natives.  He  had  a  large  quantity  of  Indian 
money.  The  price  demanded  for  the  redemption  of  the  captured 
princess  was  so  great  that  the  natives  were  obliged  to  apply  to 
Mr.  Stanton  for  wampum.  For  the  requisite  fathoms  of  this  coin 
the  Indian  authorities  gave  to  Mr.  Stanton  a  tract  of  land  now  in 


the  township  of  Charlestown.  The  captive  was  ransomed  and 
brought  home  from  Manisses  with  great  ceremony  and  rejoicing. 
Upon  his  lands  thus  obtained  Mr.  vStanton  settled ;  at  least,  his 
third  son,  Joseph,  from  whom  the  Rhode  Island  branch  of  the 
family  are  said  to  have  descended.  The  event  of  the  capture 
must  not  have  been  far  from  1665." 

CHAPTER   11. 


Situation.— Trading  Houses.— Boundary  Lines.— The  Colonial  Controversy.— Al- 
tercations with  Plymouth  and  Connecticut.— Petitions  to  the  Throne.— The 
Charter  of  1663.— Roger  Williams'  Letter.— The  Trouble  with  Connecticut.— 
Meeting  of  the  Commissioners.— The  New  Boundary  Lines. — The  King's 
Province.— The  Letter  to  the  King.— Decision  of  the  King's  Commissioners. 
—Final  Settlement  of  the  Difficulty.— The  Palatine  Light.— The  King's  High- 
way.—The  Dark  Day.— Slavery  and  the  Slave  Trade.— Lake  Narragansett 
and  other  places. 


'^  ^  WASHINGTON  county  lies  wholly  within  what  was  for- 
merly called  the  Narragansett  country.  The  extent  of  this 
territory,  its  early  settlement,  the  claims  of  other  colon- 
ies to  its  territory  and  the  controversies  relative  to  its  possession 
and  jurisdiction,  its  erection  by  the  king  into  a  distinct  and  sov- 
ereign government  by  the  style  of  the  King's  Province,  and  its 
final  reunion,  form  a  subject  that  falls  within  our  province  and 
will  be  considered  in  the  following  pages. 

The  Narragansett  country  was  anciently  bounded  northerly  as 
far  as  the  present  boundary  of  Rhode  Island  extends  and  how 
much  farther  is  not  now  known  ;  northeasterly  by  the  Blackstone 
river,  easterly  by  the  Narragansett  bay,  including  the  islands, 
and  by  the  Seekonk  river  ;  southerly  by  the  Atlantic  Ocean  and 
westerly  by  Pawcatuck  river. 

This  was  the  territory  inhabited  by  the  Narragansett  Indians. 
The  Wampanoags,  Nipmucs  and  other  tribes  of  Indians  more 
easterly  and  northerly,  were  tributaries  to  them,  but  threw  off 
their  allegiance  after  the  arrival  of  the  English.  Of  all  the 
tribes  between  Boston  and  the  Hudson  river  the  Narragansetts 
were  probably  the  most  numerous.  Roger  Williams  says  they 
could  raise  five  thousand  fighting  men,  and  Brinley  says  that 
they  numbered  thirty  thousand  men.  Roger  Williams  observes 
when  speaking  of  their  population  and  settlement :  "  A  man 
shall  come  to  twenty  towns,  some  bigger,  .some  le.sser,  it  may  be 
a  dozen  in  twenty  miles  travel." 


At  the  time  of  the  settlement  of  this  country  by  the  English, 
Canonicus  and  Miantinomo  were  the  ruling  sachems  of  the  Nar- 
ragansett  Indians.  After  the  sale  of  Providence  to  Williams, 
the  island  of  Rhode  Island  to  Coddington  and  Shawomet  or  old 
Warwick  to  Gorton  and  their  respective  associates,  those  territor- 
ies virtually  ceased  to  be  called  Narragansett.  And  after  East 
Greenwich  was  conveyed  and  erected  into  a  township  in  1667, 
the  name  of  Narragansett  was  circumscribed  to  the  limits  of  the 
present  county  of  Washington,  bounding  northerly  on  Hunt's 
river  and  on  the  soiith  line  of  the  county  of  Kent. 

The  first  settlements  in  the  state  were  by  Roger  Williams  at 
Providence  in  1636,  by  Coddington  at  Portsmouth  in  1638,  and 
by  Richard  Smith  at  Wickford  in  Narragansett,  in  1639.  The 
three  trading  houses  of  .Smith,  Williams  and  Wilcox  were 
erected  in  1642-3.  As  the  power  of  the  Indians  became  weak- 
ened from  the  increased  settlements  and  intrusions  of  the  whites, 
the  question  of  the  Narragansett  country  became  a  subject  of 
avaricious  contention. 

In  1631,  Connecticut  obtained  her  first  patent,  bounding  them 
east  on  the  Narragansett  river,  which  they  contended  was  what 
is  now  called  Seekonk  or  Blackstone  river. 

The  Rhode  Island  patent  obtained  in  1643,  bounded  her  on  the 
north  and  northeast  by  Massachusetts,  east  and  southeast  by 
Plymouth,  south  by  the  ocean,  west  and  northwest  by  the  Nar- 
ragansetts,  the  whole  tract  extending  about  twenty-five  English 
miles  unto  the  Pequot  river  or  country.  The  boundaries  being 
loose  and  undefined  by  particular  designated  names  or  places, 
the  geography  being  hardly  emerged  into  any  tolerable  light,  as 
Updike  says,  "  that  instead  of  ascertaining  their  limits  on  earth 
they  fixed  their  boundaries  in  the  Heavens." 

From  this  uncertainty  of  designation  a  controversy  soon  arose 
between  the  two  colonies,  respecting  the  charter  jurisdiction  of 
the  Narragansett  country.  The  settlements  under  the  respective 
colonies  were  disputed,  various  and  serious  disturbances  ensued, 
mingled  with  a  bitter  and  acrimonious  correspondence  enforcing 
their  respective  titles.  As  soon  as  the  town  of  Westerly,  then 
called  Misquamicut,  began  to  be  occupied  by  the  whites,  its  jvir- 
isdiction  fell  into  dispute.  One  ground  of  the  disputes  dated 
back  to  the  Indian  wars.  The  Pequots  claimed  posses.sion  on 
the  east  side -of  the  PaM';catuck,  and  Massachusetts  claimed  the 
Pequot  country  by  right  of  conquest,  and  when  erecting  South- 


erton  (now  Stonington)  into  a  township  they  induded  a  section 
of  Misquamicut  (now  Westerly)  within  its  limits.  In  consequence 
of  this  claim  by  the  Massachusetts  colony,  when  Southerton  was 
given  up  to  Connecticut  and  named  Stonington,  Connecticut  main- 
tained not  only  the  old  claim  of  conquest  from  Massachusetts 
formerly,  but  taking  advantage  of  the  loose  and  indefinite 
boundary  lines  between  the  contesting  colonies,  pushed  their 
claims  of  jurisdiction  from  Narragansett  river  to  Narragansett 
bay.  Reverend  Frederick  Denison,  A.  M.,  in  "  Westerly  and  its 
Witnesses,"  thus  plainly  states  the  difficulty :  "  When  Souther- 
ton  was  given  up  to  Connecticut  and  named  Stonington,  Connec- 
ticut maintained  not  only  the  old  claim  of  conquest  from  Massa- 
chusetts and  the  further  claim  of  actual  occupation,  but  taking 
advantage  of  the  phraseology  of  the  charters  of  Rhode  Island 
and  Connecticut,  which  named  Narragansett  river  as  the  bound- 
ary between  the  two  colonies,  pushed  the  claim  of  jurisdiction 
to  Narragansett  bay.  It  was  afterward  decided  that  by  Narra- 
gansett river  was  meant  Pawcatuck  river.  In  1649  Thomas 
Stanton  had  a  trading  house  on  the  Pawcatuck,  and  a  monopoly 
of  the  trade  at  the  mouth  of  the  river,  for  a  season  granted  by 
the  Connecticut  authorities.  The  Pequot  claim  extended  to 
Weecapaug,  about  four  miles  east  of  the  river.  Massachusetts 
resigned  her  claim  to  Connecticut  in  1658.  In  1662  Harmon 
Garret,  alias  Wequascouke,  governor  of  the  remnant  of  the  Pe- 
quots,  stated  that  he  and  his  people  '  had  broken  up  above  a  hun- 
dred lots,  and  lived  quietly  and  comfortably,  east  of  Pawcatuck 
River,'  but  had  been  •  driven  from  their  planting  ground, — four- 
score Indian  men,  beside  women  and  children,  just  at  planting 
time.'  They  were  expelled  in  part  by  Rhode  Island  men,  since 
this  colony  claimed  possession  to  the  Pawcatuck,  and  the  land 
had  been  purchased  of  the  Indians." 

The  old  Rhode  Island  patent  of  1643  included  the  Narragan- 
sett country,  and  the  disputes  about  this  tract  had  not  only  been 
a  cause  of  contention  with  Connecticut,  but  occasional  'alterca- 
tions also  with  Plymouth.  If  the  Narragansett  was  the  Seekonk 
river,  Connecticut  claimed  that  the  Narragansett  country  was 
embraced  in  her  chartered  limits ;  and  if  the  Narragansett  was 
adjudged  to  be  the  Pawcatuck  river,  then  Plymouth  claimed  the 
same  territory  as  being  embraced  within  her  chartered  limits,  as 
the  Narragansett  river  was  her  western  boundary.  Massachus- 
setts  also  claimed  that  part  of  Narragansett  that  lay  west  of  the 

30  lUSTORV    f)F    WASHING'l-ON    AND    KKNT    COUNTIES. 

Weecapaug  river,  in  Westerly,  running  about  five  or  six  miles 
east  of  Pawcatuck,  as  her  part  of  the  division  of  the  Pequot 
country,  obtained  by  the  conquest  in  1637. 

Updike,  in  his  "  History  of  the  Narragansett  Country,"  pub- 
lished in  1847,  says :  "  Thus  stood  Rhode  Island,  possessed  of 
only  the  towns  of  the  island  of  Rhode  Island,  Providence,  and 
the  Shawomet  settlements,  contending  singly  for  her  rights 
against  the  power  and  physical  energies  of  her  three  powerful 
neighbors,  and  only  confronted  and  cheered  by  the  distant  hope 
of  protection  from  the  king.  The  Connecticut  charter  of  1662 
embraced  Narragansett ;  Rhode  Island,  to  sustain  herself  at  this 
crisis,  also  petitioned  the  throne  for  a  new  charter,  establishing 
her  ancient  jurisdiction,  including  the  questioned  title  to  Narra- 
gansett, which  agitated  anew  at  court  the  acrimonious  dispute 
between  the  colony  agents  respecting  the  true  location  and  name 
of  the  Narragansett  river  contemplated  in  their  respective 
grants.  For  a  more  equitable  adjustment  of  this  litigated  col- 
onial controversy  the  King  called  in  the  Connecticut  charter, 
recently  granted,  for  further  consideration." 

In  this  posture  of  affairs,  Mr.  Winthrop,  the  agent  of  Connec- 
ticut, apprehensive  of  results  fatal  in  other  respects,  from  the 
inhibition,  agreed  with  the  agent  of  Rhode  Island,  Mr.  Clark,  to 
a  general  reference  of  the  questions  in  dispute.  William  Bren- 
ton,  Esq..,  ;\Iaior  Robert  Thompson,  Captain  Richard  Doane, 
Captain  John  Brookehaven  and  Doctor  Benjamin  Worsley  were 
mutually  chosen  by  the  parties  as  the  arbitrators  to  hear  and 
decide  the  question.  They  fixed  on  terms  which  were  signed 
and  sealed  by  the  agents  of  both  colonies,  Messrs.  Winthrop  and 
Clark,  on  the  7th  of  April,  1663,  "  That  a  river  there  commonly 
called  by  the  name  of  Pawcatuck  river  shall  be  the  certain  bounds 
between  those  two  colonies,  which  said  river  shall  for  the  future 
be  also  called  Narragansett  river."  "  That  the  proprietors  and 
inhabitants  of  that  land  about  Smith's  trading  house  claimed 
and  purchased  by  Major  Atherton  and  others  shall  have  free 
liberty  to  choose  to  which  of  those  colonies  they  will  belong." 

On  the  3d  of  July,  1663,  they  accordingly  assembled  and  made 
choice  of  Connecticut.  The  Rhode  Island  charter  of  Julv  8th, 
1663,  mentioned  and  ccmfirmed  the  first  article  of  the  before 
mentioned  award,  but  omitted  the  others.  The  charter,  in  No- 
vember, 1663,  was  received  by  Rhode  Island,  read  publicly  before 
the  people,  and  accepted.     This  auspicious  result  inspired  Rhode 


Island  with  a  confident  hope  that  this  irritating  controversy  was 
brovight  to  a  successful  termination.  The  agreement,  solemn 
and  formal  as  it  was  in  its  prospect,  proved  delusive.  It  did  not 
settle  the  controversy.  Connecticut  contended  that  although 
Mr.  Winthrop  had  a  commission  as  agent  to  procure  their  char- 
ter, that  in  conformity  thereto  he  did  so  and  transmitted  it  to  his 
house  ;  and  upon  that  event  his  commission  was  fulfilled  and  to 
all  intents  his  agency  had  ceased,  and  that  thereafter  he  had  no 
power  to  put  their  charter  to  arbitration,  or  authority  to  amend 
it,  except  instructed  anew,  and  that  the  whole  procedure  was 
unknown  to  them.  That  in  another  respect  Rhode  Island  her- 
self had  nullified  the  agreement  in  not  admitting  the  jurisdiction 
of  Connecticut  over  the  inhabitants  of  Narragansett,  who  had 
elected  according  to  its  provisions  to  live  under  their  govern- 
ment. To  relieve  Rhode  Island  from  a  dilemma  so  pressing 
Roger  Williams,  in  a  letter  to  Major  ^Nlason,  of  Connecticut,  in 
explanation  of  the  apparent  perplexity  that  surrounded  the 
transaction  says  :  "  Upon  our  humble  address  by  our  agent,  Mr. 
Clark,  to  his  Majesty,  and  his  gracious  promise  of  renewing  our 
former  charter,  Mr.  Winthrop  upon  some  mistake  had  entrenched 
upon  our  line,  but  not  only  so  but  as  it  is  said  upon  the  lines  of 
other  charters  also.  Upon  Mr.  Clark's  complaint  your  charter 
was  called  in  again,  and  it  had  never  been  returned,  but  upon  a 
report  that  the  agents,  Mr.  Winthrop  and  Mr.  Clark,  were  agreed 
by  the  mediation  of  friends  (and  it  is  true  they  came  to  a  solemn 
agreement  under  hands  and  seals),  which  agreement  was  never 
violated  on  our  part." 

This  partial  armistice  rather  exasperated  than  allayed  the  dis- 
position of  the  parties,  and  the  contest  was  renewed  with  in- 
creased vigor.  In  the  same  year  Rhode  Island  and  Connecticut 
appointed  magistrates  in  Narragan.sett  to  execute  their  respec- 
tive laws.  In  ]\larch,  ]f5f)4,  twenty  armed  men  crossed  the  Paw- 
catuck,  and  with  force  entered  the  house  of  a  citizen  adhering 
to  the  government  of  Rhode  Island,  assaulted  and  seized  the 
owner  and  carried  him  captive  to  Connecticut.  Rhode  Island, 
in  the  May  following,  seized  John  (ireene,  of  Quidnesit,  an  ad- 
herent of  the  opposite  government,  transported  him  to  Newport, 
and  threatened  to  arrest  and  imprison  all  others  that  would  not 
subject  themselves  to  their  jurisdiction.  The  courts  of  each 
colonv  holding  their  opposite  sessions  and  promulgating  their 
conflicting  decisions,  the  continued  arrests,  captures  and  incar- 


cerations  of  the  adherents  of  each  party  seemed  to  threaten  a 
speedy  effusion  gf  blood.  An  inhabitant  of  Wickford,  writing- 
to  Connecticut  for  forces,  says  :  "  We  are  in  greater  trouble  than 
ever  and  like  to  be  war." 

These  differences,  intrusions  and  acts  of  violence  and  injustice 
reached  the  ears  of  the  home  government,  and  to  prevent  the 
threatened  catastrophe  tlie  king  in  April,  1664,  appointed  Colonel 
Richard  Nichols,  .Sir  Robert  Carr,  George  Cartwright  and  vSam- 
uel  ^laverick.  Esquires, commissioners  {of  which  Colonel  Nichols 
during  life  was  always  to  be  one)  to  determine  all  complaints, 
caiises  and  matters,  military,  civil  and  criminal,  in  the  colonies 
of  New  England. 

The  commissioners  met  in  :\lay,  1665  (Nichols  absent),  and 
erected  the  King's  Province.  By  an  order  under  their  hands  and 
seals  the  Narragansett  country  again  put  on  new  boundary  lines. 
This  territory  westward  was  bounded  by  the  Pawcatuck  river, 
and  from  thence  in  a  north  line  drawn  to  Massachusetts  line 
from  the  middle  of  said  river  into  an  independent  jurisdiction, 
called  King's  Province,  and  ordered,  "That  no  person  of  luliatever 
colony  soever,  shall  presume  to  exercise  any  jnrisdietion  ivit/nn  the 
Kings  Province,  but  such  as  receive  authority  from  us  under  our  hands 
and  seals  until  his  majesty's  pleasure  be  further  knozun,"  and  that  the 
magistrates  of  Rhode  Island  exercise  the  authority  of  justices  of 
the  peace  in  the  King's  Province  until  May,  1665. 

After  that  day  they  empowered  the  governor,  deputy  gov- 
ernor and  assistants  only  as  magistrates  to  hold  courts,  etc.,  in 
said  province.  The  letter  of  the  king  confirmed  the  decision  of 
the  commissioners  as  to  the  possession,  government  and  absobite 
and  immediate  sovereignty  of  the  King's  Province.  Thus  Rhode 
Island  became  dissevered,  and  the  Narragansett  country,  one- 
half  of  her  territory,  was  erected  into  an  independent  and  sov- 
ereign province  by  the  name  of  King's  Province.  xVfter  this  all 
acts  of  parliament  affecting  the  colony  were  referred  to  by  the 
style  of  "  The  Colony  of  Rhode  Island,  and  Providence  Planta- 
tions and  the  King's  Province."  Yet  the  magistrates  appointed 
in  conformity  to  the  king's  commissioners  probably  never  exer- 
cised independent  jurisdiction  over  said  province  north  of  the 
Warwick  line. 

This  decision  of  the  commissioners,  however,  was  perplexing 
almost  to  madness  to  the  enemies  of  the  division.  The  incon- 
veniences arising  from  the  erection  of  a  new  jurisdiction  over 


one-half  of  her  chartered  domain,  rather  tended  to  fetter  the 
energies  of  state  instead  of  relieving  her  from  impending 
troubles  in  subsequent  contentions  with  her  powerful  rival.  It 
was  due  to  these  facts  that  in  1666  an  address  was  presented  to 
the  king,  also  another  to  Lord  Chancellor  Clarendon,  praying  the 
re-union  of  Narragansett  to  Rhode  Island,  but  it  proved  una- 

In  167o  the  Indian  war  commenced,  and  although  Rhode  Island 
was  at  peace  with  the  people,  the  circumstances  under  which  she 
was  now  placed  were  perplexing. 

But  the  United  Colonies,  regardless  of  colonial  jurisdiction, 
invaded  the  colony  with  arms  and  exterminated  the  Indians  at 
a  blow.  Concerning  this  war  with  the  Narragansetts  Rhode 
Island,  in  a  letter  to  the  king,  thus  states  :  "  It  began  in  June, 
1675,  and  broke  forth  betAveen  King  Philip  and  the  colony  of 
New  Plymouth,  and  was  prosecuted  by  the  United  Colonies,  as 
they  term  themselves,  and  afterward  several  other  nations  of 
Indians  were  concerned  in  said  war,  whereby  many  and  most  of 
your  majesty's  subjects  in  these  parts  were  greatly  distressed 
and  ruined.  But  this,  your  majesty's  colony,  not  being  con- 
cerned in  the  war  only  as  a  necessity  required  for  the  defense 
of  their  lives  and  what  they  could  of  their  estates,  and  as  coun- 
trymen did  with  our  boats  and  provisions  assist  and  relieve  our 
neighbors,  we  being  no  other  way  concerned." 

In  a  letter  to  Connecticut  Rhode  Island  says :  "  We  are  very 
apt  to  believe,  if  matters  come  to  a  just  inquiry  concerning  the 
cause  of  the  war  that  our  Narragansett  sachems,  which  were 
subjects  of  his  majesty,  and  by  his  aforesaid  commissioners  taken 
into  protection  and  put  under  our  government,  and  to  us  at  all 
times  manifested  their  submission  by  appearing  when  sent  for  ; 
neither  was  there  any  manifestation  of  war  against  us  from  them 
till  by  the  United  Colonies  they  were  forced  to  war  or  to  such 
submission  as  it  seems  they  could  not  subject  to,  thereby  invoh"- 
ing  us  in  such  hazards,  charge  and  losses  which  have  fallen  upon 
us  in  our  out  plantations  that  no  colony  hath  received  the  like, 
considering  our  number  of  people." 

After  the  extermination  of  the  Narragansetts  they  claimed 
the  King's  Province  as  a  conquered  territory,  to  which  Rhode 
Island  for  this  reason  among  others  had  no  title.  Under  pre- 
tense of  an  amicable  adjustment,  Rhode  Island  being  thus  crip- 
pled and  down  trodden  by  the  incursions  of  the  United  Colonies, 


Connecticut  offered  peace  upon  a  division  of  territory,  saying, 
"  That  although  our  just  rights,  both  by  patent  and  conquest  ex- 
tend much  further,  yet  our  readiness  to  amicable  and  neighborly 
compliance  is  such  that  for  peace  sake  we  content  ourselves  to 
take  with  Cowesit  (that  is  from  Apponaug  to  Connecticut  line)  to 
be  the  boundary  between  your  colony  and  ours."  In  this  state 
of  exhaustion,  and  for  the  peaceful  enjoyment  of  the  remainder 
Rhode  Island  felt  herself  compelled  to  answer,  "  That  if  you 
would  accept  of  one-half  of  all  the  land  in  the  tract  above  un- 
purchased Ave  should  not  much  scruple  to  surrender  it  to  be  at 
your  disposal,  provided  it  may  be  inhabited  by  such  persons  as 
shall  faithfully  submit  to  this  his  majesty's  authority  in  this 
jurisdiction.  We  have  made  this  tender  out  of  that  respect  we 
bear  to  the  country  in  general."  Connecticut  refused  this  propo- 
sition, and  Updike  says :  "  Rhode  Island  in  this  state  of  de- 
spair threw  herself  upon  her  own  energies,  and  determined  if 
she  fell  to  fall  with  dignitv." 

Connecticut  was  not  satisfied  with  the  decision  of  the  king's 
commissioners,  they  alleging  their  award  was  void  owing  to  the 
absence  of  Colonel  Nichols,  who  was  required  always  to  be  one 
of  the  board  and  because  also  he  had  subsequently  revoked  the 
order  of  the  other  commissioners.  They  therefore  sent  a  com- 
mittee to  the  King's  Province  and  after  surveying,  proceeded  to 
lay  out  new  plantations  within  the  disputed  boundaries,  Rhode 
Island  settling  other  portions  with  her  adherents.  Thus  the  dis- 
puted territory  became  occupied  -with  claimants  under  both  gov- 
ernments. Proclamations  fulminated  from  both  colonies,  breath- 
ing vengeance  to  intruders  and  conjuring  all  parties  to  fidelity. 
Both  sides  made  arrests  and  captures,  and  laws  were  enacted  by 
each  government  threatening  forfeiture  of  estates  to  all  who 
claimed  under  or  acknowledged  -the  jurisdiction  of  the  other. 
John  Baffin,  holding  under  Connecticut,  was  convicted  at  Newport 
of  adhering  to  a  foreign  jurisdiction  and  his  estate  confiscated 
and  others  were  prosecuted  or  imprisoned  or  bailed.  In  retalia- 
tion Connecticut  seized  several  Rhode  Islanders  and  imprisoned 
them  at  Hartford  and  New  London.  In  the  midst  of  this  turbu- 
lent state  of  affairs,  Rhode  Island  in  1680  appealed  to  the  king 
and  gave  notice  to  Connecticut  that  she  might  prepare  for  trial 
without  delay,  of  which  the  latter  accepted  and  assured  Rhode 
Island  in  return  "  that  they  should  exercise  no  further  govern- 
ment east  of  Pawcatuck  river  until  his  majesty  decided  'the  ap- 


Agents  were  not  dispatched  by  either  party  to  prosecute  the 
appeal  and  affairs  remained  in  as  disturbed  a  condition  as  before. 
In  April,  1683,  the  king  commi.ssioned  Edward   Cranfield,  lieu- 
tenant-governor and    commandef-in-chief  of  New   Hampshire; 
William  StoughtOn,  Joseph  Dudley,  Edward  Palmer,  John  Pyn- 
chon,  Jr.,  and    Nathaniel   Saltonstall,  Esq.,  for   the   purpose   of 
the  "quieting  of  all  disputes  that  have  arisen  concerning  the 
right  of  propriety  to  the  jurisdiction  and  soil  of  a  certain  tract  of 
land  in  New  England  called  the   King's  Province  or  Narragan- 
sett  country."     From  the  constitution  of  this  court  being  com- 
posed of  commissioners  selected  from  the  United  Colonies 
feelings  had  ever  been  inimical  to  the  existence  of  Rhode  Island, 
she  augured  anything  but  auspicious  results.   The  commissioners 
assembled  at  Smith's  castle,  near  Wickford,  in  pursuance  of  their 
appointment,  attended  by  the  agents  of  Connecticut  and  Plym- 
outh to  litigate  their  respective  claims  to  the  King's  Province. 
Rhode  Island  peremptorily  refused  to  acknowledge  the  authority 
■of  the  court.     Her  legislature,  assembled  within  a  mile,  denied 
their  right  to  adjudicate,  and  ordered  their  sergeant-at-arms  with 
his  trumpet  at  the  head  of  a  troop  of  horse  by  loud  proclamation, 
to  prohibit  them  from  keeping  court  in  any  part  of  their  juris- 
diction.    They   adjourned   to   Boston   and   finally   adjudged   as 
might  have  been  expected,  "that  the  jurisdiction  of  the  King's 
Province  belonged  of   right  to  Connecticut."      The   sturdy  re- 
mon.strance  of  Rhode  Island  to  the  king  against  the  partial  or- 
ganization of  the  court  defeated  the  confirmation  of  its  decision. 
In  I680  another  ill-advised  effort  was  made  to  terminate  the 
existing  agitations.     The  king  in  that  year  commissioned  Josepli 
Dudley  as  president  of  Maine,  New  Hampshire,  Massachusetts 
and  the  King's  Province — thus  uniting  the  four  provinces  under 
one  common  head.     Dudley  assumed  the  government   and  by 
proclamation  declared  the  King's  Province  a  separate  govern- 
ment independent  of  Rhode  Island.     He  assembled   his  coun- 
cil at  Smith's  castle  and  in  the  plentitude  of  authority  established 
courts,  appointed  magistrates  and,  to  obliterate  every  recollection 
of  their  former  political  exi.stence,  substituted  the  town  names  of 
Rochester  for  Kingstown,  Haversham  for  Westerly  and  Dedford 
for  Greenwich.      Rhode  Island,  enfeebled  by  dismemberment, 
quietly  submitted  until  the  arrest  of  Andros  and  the  subversion 
of  his  government,  when  she  re-established  her  authority. 

All  efforts  of  the  home  government  proving  fruitless,  Rhode 


Island  and  Connecticut  attempted  to  settle  their  boundaries  by 
commissioners  of  their  own.  In  1703,  after  much  negotiation, 
an  agreement  was  made,  but  was  not  confirmed  by  Connecticut, 
and  finally  all  efforts  to  produce  a  peaceful  conclusion  of  the 
long  and  painful  controversy  failing,  Rhode  Island  in  a  letter  to 
Connecticut  dated  July  7th,  1720,  declared,  "  As  you  rejected  all 
endeavors  [meaning  the  line  of  1703,  which  was  run  near  where 
the  boundary  is  now  established],  as  well  as  other  endeavors  for 
an  accommodation  and  will  not  be  satisfied  without  swallowing 
up  the  greatest  part  of  our  small  colony,  we  are  therefore  deter- 
mined, with  the  blessing  of  God,  with  all  expedition  to  make 
our  appeal  to  the  King  in  council  for  his  determination  and  de- 
cree of  our  westerly  bounds  ;  and  that  you  may  not  be  surprised 
we  humbly  notify  you  thereof  that  you  make  take  such  steps  as 
you  may  think  to  justify  and  vindicate  yourselves." 

Rhode  Island  appointed  Joseph  Jenckes,  Esq.,  their  lieutenant- 
governor,  a  special  agent,  to  proceed  to  London  to  conduct  the 
appeal.  Connecticut  appointed  Jeremiah  Dummer,  the  resident 
agent  of  ^Massachusetts,  their  agent  for  the  same  purpose,  and 
the  trial  proceeded.  Conflicts  ceased,  as  if  both  parties  were 
weary  of  the  tedious,  irritating  and  savage  controversy,  and 
waited  with  sullen  patience  the  decision  of  the  common  umpire 
at  Whitehall.  The  king  and  council  promulgated  the  final  de- 
cision, establishing  Pawcatuck  river  as  the  west  boundarj^  of 
Rhode  Island,  and  uniting  the  Kings  Province,  which  had  ex- 
isted fifty  years  as  an  independent  jurisdiction,  to  Rhode  Island. 

The  Palatine  Light. — The  richest  tradition  which  the  old 
islanders  delight  to  relate,  is  the  uncanny  story  of  the  burning 
Palatine  ship,  made  famous  by  Whittier's  fine  poem,  and  Dana's 
"  Buccaneer."  The  tale  about  the  ship  is  so  shrouded  in  the  ob- 
scurity of  tradition  that  its  authenticity  is  quite  uncertain.  As 
narrated  bj?  the  islanders  the  story  is  briefly  this :  "About  17.-)6  a 
German  vessel  laden  with  emigrants  from  the  Palatinate,  a 
former  political  division  of  Germany,  sailed  for  the  West  In- 
dies. On  the  passage  a  mutiny  had  arisen,  the  captain  had  been 
killed  and  the  passengers  robbed.  The  ship  was  driven  by  a 
storm  upon  Long  Point,  Block  Island.  The  passengers  and  crew 
were  all  landed  except  one  lady,  who  refused  to  leave  the  vessel. 
The  ship  was  subsequently  fired  and  burned,  with  the  unfortu- 
nate lady  on  board.  Alost  of  th(we  landed  from  the  ship  were 
sick  and  soon  died.     Three  women   alone  survi\-ed,  and  two  of 


them  lived  and  died  on  tlie  island.  These  two  women  were 
called  '  Tall  Kattern  '  and  '  Short  Kattern.'  The  former  married 
a  negro,  and  some  of  their  descendants  are  said  to  be  still 

The  more  prosaic  stor}'  is  that  a  German  vessel  in  distress 
landed  at  the  island,  left  several  sick  passengers,  and  after  re- 
maining in  port  some  time  sailed  away.  Most  of  those  put  ashore 
died,  but  two  or  three  survived  and  lived  upon  the  island,  as  is 
related  in  the  more  correct  tradition. 

Whether  the  ship  was  burned  is  a  question  which  cannot  be 
definitely  settled,  but  the  weight  of  evidence  seems  to  favor  the 
story  that  she  was  burned.  The  graves  of  the  poor  unfortunates 
buried  on  the  island  were  clearly  marked  a  few  years  since. 
Honorable  William  P.  Sheffield,  in  his  "  Historical  Sketch  of 
Block  Island,"  speaks  as  follows  of  the  last  resting  place  of  the 
Palatinates  : 

"  On  the  south  side  of  Block  Island,  but  a  few  rods  west  of 
where  the  '  Ann  Hope,'  the  India  ship  of  Brown  &  Ives,  of 
Providence,  was  wrecked,  and  some  forty  or  fifty  rods  to  the  east 
of  the  '  Black  Rock  Gull}-,'  on  a  little  knoll  is  a  cluster  of  graves; 
up  to  within  a  few  years  they  were  distinctly  visible,  but  the  un- 
feeling plow  has  passed  over  them,  and  has  almost  obliterated 
their  existence.  In  the  '  Pocock  Meadow,'  a  mile  further  west- 
ward, and  in  a  field  lately  owned  by  the  late  Jesse  Lewis,  were 
other  clusters  of  graves,  long  within  my  memory,  if  not  now, 
visible.  These  were  all  known  as  the  '  Palatine  Graves.'  The 
existence  of  these  graves  and  their  designation  will  not  be  ques- 

Tradition  has  connected  this  story  with  an  unexplained  phe- 
nomenon, which  was  of  frequent  occurrence  years  ago,  but  which 
has  not  appeared  in  these  latter  days  of  scepticism.  This  is  the 
wonderful  light  seen  off  the  northern  part  of  the  island,  known 
as  the  famous  Palatine  light.  The  story  is  that  every  year  there 
appears  the  ship,  under  full  sail,  on  fire  in  every  part,  as  a  terri- 
ble reminder  to  the  islanders  of  the  inhumanity  of  the  inhabi- 
tants in  firing  the  Palatine  ship  and  burning  to  death  the 
unfortunate  lady  who  refused  to  leave  the  fated  vessel.  The 
tale  is  still  implicitly  believed  in  by  many  of  the  "  oldest  in- 
habitants ;"  and  by  the  superstitious  islanders  the  strange  light 
was  long  thought  to  be  supernatural.  It  was  first  seen,  it  is  said, 
after  the  burning  of  the  Palatine  ship,  and  it  was  believed  to  be 

38  HISTORY    OK    \VASHIN(;T0N   and    KENT   COUNTIES. 

a  ship  on  fire.  The  credulous  people  easily  supplied  in  imagina- 
tion the  burning  hull,  spars  and  sails,  and  thought  they  beheld 
a  spectre  ship  in  a  mass  of  flame.  But  this  appearance  is  so  well 
authenticated  that  its  existence  can  not  be  doubted.  A  strange 
light  has  been  seen  at  various  times  during  the  earlier  part  of 
the  century.  The  testimony  is  numerous  and  almost  unimpeach- 
able. What  this  light  was  has  never  been  explained.  Doctor 
Aaron  C.  Willey,  a  resident  physician  of  the  island,  in  Decem- 
ber, 1811,  addressed  to  a  friend  in  New  York  a  letter  in  which  he 
gave  a  full  description  of  the  Palatine  light,  as  seen  by  himself- 
He  describes  it  as  follows  : 

"This  curious  irradiation  rises  from  the  ocean  near  the  north- 
ern part  of  the  island.  Its  appearance  is  nothing  different  from  a 
blaze  of  fire ;  whether  it  actually  touches  the  water,  or  mereh' 
hovers  over  it,  is  uncertain,  for  I  am  informed  that  no  person 
has  been  near  enough  to  decide  accurately.  vSometimes  it  is. 
small,  resembling  the  light  through  a  distant  window ;  at  others 
expanding  to  the  highness  of  a  ship  with  all  her  canvas  spread. 
When  large  it  displays  either  a  pyramidal  form,  or  three  con- 
stant streams.  This  light  often  seems  to  be  in  a  constant  state  of 
mutation ;  decreasing  by  degrees  it  becomes  invisible,  or  resem- 
bles a  lucid  point ;  then  shining  anew,  sometimes  with  a  sudden 
flare,  at  others  by  a  gradual  increasement  to  its  former  size. 
Often  the  mutability  regards  the  lustre  only,  becoming  less  and 
less  bright  until  it  disappears,  or  nothing  but  a  pale  outline  can 
be  discerned  of  its  full  size,  then  resuming  its  full  splendor  in 
the  manner  before  related.  The  duration  of  its  greatest  and 
least  state  of  illumination  is  not  commonly  more  than  three 
minutes.  '•■"  *  *  It  is  seen  at  all  seasons  of  the  year,  and  for 
the  most  part  in  the  calm  weather  which  precedes  an  easterly  or 
southerly  storm." 

The  writer  adds  that  this  blaze  actually  emits  luminous  rays. 
He  states  that  he  twice  saw  it  personally. 

The  following  extract  from  a  letter  of  Mr.  Benjamin  Congdon, 
formerly  a  resident  of  the  Narragansett  country,  published  in 
the  Newport  Mercury,  ]\Iarch  23d,  1<S78,  is  ctmclusive  testimony 
of  the  reality  of  the  phantom  ship  : 

"  About  the  burning  Palatine  ship  you  speak  of  in  your  inter- 
esting papers,  I  may  say  that  I  have  seen  her  eight  or  ten  times 
or  more.  In  those  days  nobody  doubted  her  being  sent  by  an 
almighty  power  to  punish  those  wicked  men  who  murdered  her 


passengers  and  crew.  After  the  last  of  these  were  dead  she  was 
never  more  seen.  We  lived  when  I  was  young,  in  Charlestown, 
directly  opposite  Block  Island,  where  we  used  to  have  a-  plain 
view  of  the  burning  ship." 

The  King's  Highway.— The  old  Post  road  from  Westerly 
through  Charlestown  and  South  Kingstown  to  the  vSouth  Ferry 
and  so  on  to  Newport,  was  laid  out  in  1705.  It  was  the  great 
traveled  way  between  Boston  and  New  York  and  Philadelphia, 
and  some  of  the  most  famous  residences  in  New  England  were 
on  this  same  highway.  It  was  over  this  road  Doctor  Franklin 
often  traveled  in  his  perigrinations  between  Boston  and  Phila- 
delphia. He  went  in  his  private  vehicle,  and  two  of  his  favorite 
resting  places  were  on  this  road,  one  at  Westerly,  with  his  friend 
Doctor  Babcock,  and  the  other  at  Mrs.  Case's  on  Tower  Hill  in 
South  Kingstown.  Tower  Hill  was  then  the  shire  town  of  the 

The  Dark  Day. — This  was  during  the  revolution.  It  occurred 
May  19th,1780,  and  the  day  is  known  in  history  as  "  the  dark  day." 
A  preternatural  darkness  spread  over  a  large  portion  of  New 
England,  including  Rhode  Island,  producing  general  alarm,  some 
persons  even  supposing  that  the  "  day  of  judgment"  had  come. 
Newport  was  at  this  time  held  by  the  British  under  General 
Pigot  with  six  thousand  men.  On  the  10th  of  August  of  that 
year  the  American  army,  ten  thousand  strong,  under  General 
Sullivan,  landed  at  the  north  end  of  the  island.  The  French  fleet, 
under  d'Estaing  held  Narragansett  bay.  Unexpectedly  the 
British  fleet  under  Lord  Howe  appeared  in  sight.  Sullivan  ad- 
vanced within  two  miles  of  Newport  and  encamped.  The  two 
fleets  maneuvered  for  two  days  .for  position,  and  when  a  storm 
came  on  crippling  them  both,  d'Estaing  sailed  away  to  Boston 
to  refit,  and  General  vSullivan  had  no  alternative  but  to  retreat, 
which  he  did  in  safety.  The  retreat  was  made  none  too  soon, 
for  Sir  Henry  Clinton  arrived  shortly  after  from  New  York  with 
strong  reinforcements  for  the  British  army.  The  people  of 
Rhode  Island  could  not  have  been  otherwise  than  strongly 
affected  by  these  military  momements  just  across  the  bay,  and 
it  is  quite  probable  that  these  troublous  times  were  the  occasion 
of  the  great  religious  awakening  which  occurred  in  some  places 
at  that  time. 

Slavery. — From  the  best  of  authority  it  is  learned  that  as  late 
as  1780  South  Kingstown  was  by  far  the  wealthiest  town  in  the 


State,  paying  double  the  taxes  assigned  to  Xewport  and  one-tliird 
more  tlian  Providence.  The  original  owners  and  occupants  of 
the  soil  of  Narragansett  were  for  the  most  part  wealthy  and 
highly  cultured  English  country  gentlemen,  having  carefully 
educated  families  and  constituting  a  social  fraternity  of  culture 
and  refinement  and  hospitality  unto  themselves.  This  was  the 
basis  for  that  fascinating  social  structure  that  was  sustained  by 
the  unrequited  toil  of  the  African  race  and  continued  thus 
until  the  slaves  in  Xarragansett  were  freed  from  their  human 

A  stranger  now  visiting  this  portion  of  the  state,  observing 
the  unthrifty  and  worn  out  appearance  of  many  of  the  farms, 
houses  and  lands,  could  hardly  believe  that  scarcely  a  century 
ago  this  once  beautiful  and  now  desolate  looking  farming  coun- 
try teemed  with  a  superabundance  of  dairy  and  other  agricul- 
tural products,  and  of  princely  mansions,  of  which  skeletons  only 
now  exist.  Yet  such  has  been  the  blight  that  ahvays  sooner  or 
later  follows  as  the  curse  of  human  slavery. 

Under  such  conditions  as  formerly  existed  it  was  not  strange 
that  the  society  of  that  day  was  refined  and  well  informed,  or 
that  the  landed  aristocracy  showed  an  early  regard  to  the  suita- 
ble education  of  their  children.  Books  were  not  so  general  as  at 
this  period,  but  the  wealthy  were  more  careful  in  the  education 
of  their  offspring.  Well  qualified  tutors  emigrated  to  the  colon- 
ies and  were  employed  in  family  instruction,  and  to  complete 
their  education  their  pupils  were  afterward  placed  in  families  of 
learned  clergymen.  Doctor  McSparran,  Thomas  Clapp,  the  effi- 
cient president  of  Yale  College  ;  Doctor  Checkley,  the  missionary 
at  Providence,  and  other  distinguished  clerg}anen  of  that  day  re- 
ceiA'ed  young  gentlemen  in  their  families  for  instruction.  The 
young  ladies  were  generally  instructed  in  the  same  manner,  and 
then  placed  in  schools  in  Boston  for  further  instruction  and  ac- 

That  the  gentlemen  of  Narragansett  were  well  informed  and 
possessed  intellectual  taste,  the  remains  of  their  large  libraries, 
costly  paintings  and  expensive  portraits  and  numerous  other 
evidences  of  their  luxurious  lives,  fully  evince.  Yet  this  was  the 
state  of  society  produced  by  slavery,  and  this  festivity  and  dissi- 
pation, the  natural  result  of  wealth  and  leisure,  was  supported 
and  maintained  at  the  cost  of  the  happiness  and  liberty  of  their 
fellow  man  in  bondage. 


Judge  Potter,  in  an  address  delivered  before  the  Rhode  Island 
Historical  Society  February  19th,  1851,  said  :  "  All  along  the  belt 
of  land  adjoining  the  west  side  of  Narragansett  bay  the  country, 
generally  productive,  was  owned  in  large  plantations  by  wealthy 
proprietors  who  resided  on  and  cultivated  their  land.  They  had 
the  cultivation  which  would  naturally  result  from  a  life  of  leis- 
ure, from  intercourse  with  each  other  and  the  best  informed 
men  of  the  colony,  and  from  the  possession  of  private  libraries  for 
that  day  large  and  expensive." 

From  the  nature  of  the  climate,  the  expense  of  supporting 
slaves  was  greater  than  in  more  southern  latitudes,  and  public 
opinion  would  not  sanction  overwork  or  ill-treatment.  The  chil- 
dren of  their  owners  were  brought  up  in  leisure,  with  little  ac- 
quaintance with  any  business,  and  when  in  the  course  of  time 
slavery  was  abolished  and  they  were  brought  into  contact  with 
men  educated  to  labor  and  self-dependence,  the  habits  they  had 
acquired  from  slavery  proved  the  ruin  of  most  of  them  and  their 
property  was  encumbered  and  passed  into  other  hands. 

The  abolition  of  slavery  was  gradual.  In  1774  the  importation 
of  .slaves  was  prohibited  and  everj^  slave  brought  into  the  colony 
was  declared  free.  Large  numbers  of  them  joined  our  revolu- 
tionary army  and  were  declared  free  on  enlisting.  They  were 
among  the  best  of  the  American  troops  and  rendered  efhcient 
service  in  the  war ;  and  finally,  in  1784,  all  children  of  slaves 
born  after  that  year  were  declared  free.  It  is  an  historical  fact 
that  the  first  regularly  organized  body  of  American  colored, 
troops  that  ever  engaged  in  battle  was  during  the  revolutionary 
war  under  General  Sullivan  in  Portsmouth,  R.  I.,  where  they 
bravely  withstood  the  charge  of  the  British  troops  and  more  than 
once  repulsed  them. 

Previous  to  establishing  his  household  Mr.  Robinson,  of  South 
Kingstown,  engaged  with  others  of  his  friends  in  sending  a  ves- 
sel from  Franklin  Ferry  to  the  Guinea  coast  for  slaves,  out  of  his 
portion  of  which  he  proposed  to  select  most  of  his  domestic  ser- 
vants and  farming  hands  and  dispose  of  the  remainder  by  sale,  as 
was  the  custom  in  those  days.  Up  to  the  time  of  the  return  of 
the  vessel — such  was  the  force  of  education  and  habit — the  cruel- 
ty and  injustice  involved  in  the  slave  trade  seemed  never  to  have 
entered  Mr.  Robinson's  mind  ;  but  now  when  he  saw  the  for- 
lorn, woe-begone  looking  men  and  women  disembarking,  some 
of  them  too  feeble   to  stand  alone,  the  enormity  of  his  offense 


against  humanity  presented  itself  so  vividly  to  his  susceptible 
mind  that  he  wept  like  a  child,  nor  would  he  consent  that  a  sin- 
gle slave  that  fell  to  his  share,  twenty-eight  in  all,  should  be  sold, 
but  took  them  all  to  his  own  house,  where,  though  held  in  servi- 
tude, they  were  kindly  cared  for. 

Mr.  James  Wilson  gives  a  thrilling  description  of  two  old 
slaves,  ■'  Ned  and  Sip  "  (see  history  of  Tower  Hill),  and  in  speak- 
ing of  others  says:  "  I  well  remember  two  of  William  Dyer's 
slaves,  named  Prince  and  Violet.  They  lived  in  a  small  house 
which  stood  near  the  southwestern  corner  of  the  Dyer  pasture, 
now  owned  by  Mr.  John  Nichols ;  the  cellar  is  still  to  be  seen 
and  as  the  garden  was  left  in  corn  hills  the  rows  can  be  distinct- 
ly traced,  although  sixty-iive  years  have  elapsed  since  it  was  cul- 

"  The  Browns  owned  slaves,  among  whom  were  Jack  Fisher, 
Deadfoot,  Adam,  Nannie  and  Rocher.  Jack  lived  in  the  family 
of  Governor  George  Brown.  Fisher  lived  on  a  lot  that  his  son, 
William  Hawkins,  bought  for  him  at  the  northeast  corner  of  the 
Wilson  Woods.  He  married  a  slave  of  Christopher  Hawkins 
named  Dinah,  and  part  of  the  children  took  the  name  of  Brown 
and  the  remainder  bore  the  name  of  Hawkins.  They  had  a  son 
named  Joshua  Hawkins,  who  was  a  very  singular  individual. 
When  he  arrived  at  the  age  of  fourteen  years  he  said  that  he 
was  determined  not  to  be  a  sod  kicker  and  wield  the  scythe  and 
hoe-stick,  and  accordingly  he  dressed  himself  in  woman's  clothes, 
called  himself  Nancy  Brown,  and  did  housework,  Daniel  Up- 
dike, who  kept  a  hotel  m  East  Greenwich,  employed  him  for 
several  years.  He  was  also  employed  in  a  hotel  in  New  Bed- 
ford. He  went  to  Albany,  and  was  employed  for  sixteen  ^■ears 
in  a  hotel,  wearing  women's  clothes.  Finally,  he  returned  to 
vSouth  Kingstown  in  the  year  1849,  but  finding  no  relatives,  he  re- 
turned to  Albany.  He  was  about  six  feet  high,  verv  thin  of 
flesh,  and  weighed  only  ninety-seven  pounds.  He  had  black 
eyes,  and  a  very  large  Roman  nose,  decorated  with  a  pair  of  gold 
specks.  He  was  dressed  in  a  fashionable  black  silk  skirt,  with  a 
cinnamon-colored  spencer  waist,  and  wore  a  ladies'  black  beaver 
hat,  with  two  black  ostrich  feathers. 

"Colonel  John  Gardner's  slaves  were  named-  Bristow,  Cupidore, 
PoUidore  and  Dinah.  Bristow  was  a  soldier,  and  served  in  a. 
colored  regiment,  under  Captain  Guy  Watson,  during  the  revo- 
lutionary  war.       Cupidore    was    very   pious,   and    occasionallv 


preached  the  gospel.     Pollidore  was  a   '  fiddler.'     Samuel  Rod- 
man, Thomas  Hazard  and  many  others  also  had  slaves." 
_  The  Slave  Trade.— In  the  year  1804  the  ports  of  South  Caro- 
lina were  opened  for  the  importation  of  African  slaves  by  act  of 
the  legislature,  and  remained  open  for  four  years.     During  these 
four  years  there  were  two  hundred  and  two  vessels  engaged  in 
this  trade  to  the  port  of  Charleston,  and  they  belonged  to  the- 
following  places  :  Charleston,  61  ;  Rhode  Island,  59  ;  Great  Brit- 
ain, 70 ;    Baltimore,  4  ;  Boston,   1 ;    Norfolk,  2 ;  Connecticut,  1 ; 
Sweden,  1  ;  France,  3..    The  British  vessels  imported  19,649  ;  the 
French,  1,078;  Charleston,  7,723  ;  Bristol,  R.  I.,  2,914;  Newport, 
R.  L,  8,488;  Providence,  R.  I.,  .556  ;  Warren,  R.  I.,  280  ;  Baltimore, 
"750  ;  Savannah,  300  ;  Norfolk,  287  ;  Hartford,  250  ;  Boston,  200  ; 
Philadelphia,  200 ;  New  Orleans,  100.     Total,  37,775. 

In  this  connection  we  give  some  extracts  from  a  report  upon^ 
abolition  petitions,  made  by  Elisha  R.  Potter,  of  Kingstown,  to 
the  house  of  representatives  of  Rhode  Island  in  January,  1840. 
"  One  of  the  measures  is  to  abolish  slavery  in  the  state  of  Rhode 
Island."     He  says : 

"It  appears  by  the  United  States  census  of  1830  that  there 
were  seventeen  slaves  in  Rhode  Island.     As  all  the  children  of 
the  slaves  naust  of  course  be  forty-six  years  old  or  more,  it  is 
presumed  that  they  are  nearly  all  superannuated,  and  instead  of 
being  a  source  of  profit,  are  a  burden  to  their  nominal  owners, 
who  are  now  obliged  to  maintain  them.     The  only  consequences- 
of  liberating  these  would  be  no  possible  benefit  to  the  slaves 
themselves,  but  the  transferring  the  obligation  to  maintain  them- 
from  the  families  of  the  owners  to  the  towns,  who  would  be 
obliged  to  support  them  as  common  paupers.     Besides,  it  is  prob- 
able that  the  census  of  1840  will  show  the  number  then  living  in 
the  state  to  be  very  small,  perhaps  none.     The  committee,  there- 
fore, cannot  agree  with  the  petitioners  here,  and  do  not  recom- 
mend any  action  on  this  part  of  the  subject. 

"  The  committee  then  give  a  statement  of  the  number  of  slaves  ■ 
which  have  been  in  Rhode  Island  in  times  past. 

"  Before  1790,  when  the  United  vStates  census  was  first  taken,, 
our  accounts  do  not  exhibit  the  number  of  slaves  separately,  but- 
only  the  number  of  negroes,  whether  slaves  or  free  : 

AVhole  Population.  Negroes- 

1730 17,935  1.648' 

1748 32,773  3,07? 

1774 59,678  3,761 

1783 51 ,869  2,086- 


"  The  census  of  1730  did  not  include  tlie  towns  east  of  the  bay 
which  were  not  added  to  this  state  until  1746.  This  will  account 
for  the  part  of  the  increase  of  negroes  appearing  in  1748.  Be- 
sides, about  1730-48,  Rhode  Island  merchants  had  traded  largely 
to  the  West  Indies,  bringing  back  negroes  as  a  part  of  their  return 

"  In  1780  the  number  of  slaves  in  the  state  between  ten  and 
fifty  was  estimated  by  a  committee  of  the  legislature  to  be  five 
hundred  and  eighteen. 

"  But  from  1790  the  census  taken  by  the  United  States  gives  us 
an  accurate  account  of  the  number  of  slaves  : 

Whole  Population.  Slaves. 

1790 69,110  953 

1800 69,122  381 

1810 77,031  108 

1830 83,059  48 

1830 97,199  17 

"  The  committee  who  reported  the  estimate  in  1780  found  the 
number  of  slaves  in  the  state — 518 — to  be  distributed  as  follows  : 
Of  these  South  Kingstown  had  156  ;  North  Kingstown,  78;  Exeter, 

45  ;  Warwick,  41 ;  Providence,  40.  Newport  had  until  just  be- 
fore been  in  the  possession  of  the  British,  and  was  not  included 
in  the  estimate." 

"  Kings  county  (Washington),  which  contained  one-third  of 
the  population  of  the  state,  numbered  more  than  a  thousand 
slaves.  The  census  of  1730  gives  a  less  number,  but  it  was  pop- 
ular to  conceal  numbers  from  observation  of  the  home  govern- 
ment. Families  would  average  from  five  to  forty  slaves  each. 
They  owned  slaves  in  proportion  to  their  means  of  support.  The 
slaves  and  horses  were  about  equal  in  number ;  the  latter  were 
raised  for  exportation.  Newport  was  the  great  slave  market  of 
New  England,  and  there  were  some  importers  of  slaves  in  Nar- 
ragansett.  The  slaves  were  in  abject  ignorance  as  a  body,  they 
were  treated  with  great  humanity,  but  as  if  created  to  be  of  an 
inferior  race." 

The  Society  for  the  Propagation  of  the  Gospel,  and  others  as 
well,  became  early  awakened  to  the  moral  and  spiritual  degrada- 
tion of  the  slaves,  and  took  an  active  interest  in  their  enlighten- 
ment. The  society  began  to  look  upon  the  conversion  of  the 
negroes  as  a  principal  branch  of  their  care,  esteeming  it  a  great 
reproach  to  the  Christian  name  that  so  many  thousands  of  per- 


sons  should  continue  in  the  same  state  of  pagan  darkness  under 
a  Christian  government,  and  living  in  Christian  families.  As 
early  as  the  year  1704  they  opened  catechising  schools  and  em- 
ployed teachers  to  elevate  the  character  of  the  slaves,  and  as 
might  be  naturally  supposed  the  religion  of  the  negroes  takes 
after  that  of  their  masters. 

The  first  act  passed  on  the  subject  is  recorded  May  ISth,  1652, 
by  the  Commissioners  of  Providence  Plantations  as  follows  : 

"  Whereas,  There  is  a  common  course  practiced  among  English- 
men to  buy  negroes  to  the  end  they  may  have  them  for  service 
or  slaves  forever,  for  the  preventing  of  such  practices  among  us 
let  it  be  ordered  that  no  black  mankind  or  white  being  forced  to 
covenant  bond  or  otherwise  to  serve  any  man  or  his  assigns  longer 
than  ten  years  or  until  they  come  to  be  twenty-four  years  of  age, 
if  they  be  under  fourteen  from  the  time  of  their  coming  within 
the  liberties  of  this  colony,  and  at  the  end  or  term  of  ten  years  to 
set  them  free  as  the  manner  is  with  English  servants ;  and  that 
an}^  man  that  will  not  let  them  go  free  or  shall  sell  them  away 
elsewhere  to  that  end  that  they  may  be  enslaved  to  others  for  a 
longer  time,  he  or  they  shall  forfeit  to  the  colony  forty  pounds." 

In  March,  1675-6,  the  legislature  enacted  that  "  no  Indian  in 
this  colony  shall  be  a  slave  but  only  to  pay  their  debts."  In  Oc- 
tober an  act  was  passed  to  prevent  slaves  from  running  away. 
In  July,  1715,  an  act  was  passed  to  prohibit  the  importation  of 
Indian  slaves  into  this  colony.  In  February,  1728,  persons  man- 
umitting mulatto  or  negro  slaves  were  required  to  give  security 
against  their  becoming  a  town  charge. 

In  1774  an  act  was  passed  prohibiting  the  importation  of  ne- 
groes into  this  colony.  In  1778  slaves  were  allowed  to  enlist  in 
the  army  and  were  declared  free  upon  enlisting. 

In  1779  an  act  was  passed  to  prevent  slaves  from  running 
away.  In  1784  an  act  authorizing  the  manumission  of  negroes, 
mulattoes  and  others,  and  for  the  gradual  abolition  of  slavery, 
was  passed.  This  act  declares  all  children  born  after  March  1st, 
1784,  to  be  free,  and  makes  provision  for  their  support.  The 
provisions  for  slaves  were  further  altered  in  1785. 

In  1787  an  act  was  passed  to  prevent  the  slave  trade  and  to  en- 
courage the  abolition  of  slavery,  and  in  June,  1790,  a  society  was 
formed  in  Providence  and  incorporated  by  the  legislature  for 
promoting  the  abolition  of  slavery.  It  included  the  most  distin- 
guished men  in  the  state. 


From  the  above  can  be  seen  the  growth  of  public  opinion  upon 
this  subject  in  Rhode  Island. 

Lakk  Narraca.nsett.— The  significance  of  the  name  of  Nar- 
ragansett  is  not  definitely  known.  One  tradition  is  that  it  is  the 
Indian  name  of  a  briar  that  grew  to  a  prodigious  height  and  .size, 
the  like  hardly  ever  known.  There  is  also  a  tradition  among 
the  natives,  of  a  spring,  called  by  them  Narragansett  (hot  and 

.  cold)  because  the  water  was  extremely  cold  in  summer  and  hot 

:in  winter,  because  of  which  the  Indians  frequently  visited  it. 

Respecting  the  name  Narragansett,  Roger  Williams,  our  best 
authority,  states  :  "  That  being  inquisitive  of  what  root  the  de- 
nomination of  Narragansett  should  come,  I  heard  Narragansett 
was  so  named-  from  a  little  island  between  Pettaquamscutt 
(which  was  the  name  of  a  large  rock  near  Tower  Hill,  and  was 

.afterward  given  to  a  river  in  South  Kingstown  dividing  Tower 
Hill  from  Boston  Neck,  and  emptying  into  the  sea)  and  Mis- 
quamicut  (Westerly),  on  the  sea  and  fresh  water  side.  I  went 
on  purpose  to  see  it,  and  about  a  place  called  Sugar  Loaf  Hill  (a 
high  conical  mount  -at  Wakefield)  I  saw  it,  and  was  within  a 
pole  of  it,  but  could  not  learn  why  it  was  called  Narragansett." 

There  are  a  number  of  islands  in  Point  Judith  pond,  but 
which  was  pointed  out  t-o  Mr.  Williams  as  the  Narragansett  island 
is  not  now  known. 

Point  Judith    pond    was  originally  called  Narragansett  lake, 

-and  sometimes  was  known  under  the  sobriquet  of  Salt  Lake  pond. 
Many  of  the  well-to-do  citizens  of  South  Kingstown  obtained  their 

.start  in  life  by  fishing  in  these  waters.  A  half  century  ago 
striped  bass  were  caught  in  large  quantities.  The  pond  was  also 
filled  with  delicious  oysters.  Of  late  years  no  bass  have  been 
taken,  nevertheless  other  fish  have  been  caught  in  large  num- 
bers, and  the  industry  at  times  has  been  encouraging. 

The  question  of  opening  a  permanent  breach  from  the  pond 
into  the  ,sea  has  been  often  agitated.  The  United  States  govern- 
ment has  made  preliminary  surveys  looking  to  that  end,  but  in- 
terested parties  disagree  as  to  the  feasibility  of  the  plan,  or 
whether  or  not  it  would  prove  advantageous  to  the  fishing  inter- 
ests or  bring  back  the  supply  of  oysters.  The  pond,  if  opened 
into  the  sea,  would  certainly  be  much  purer  and  freer  from 
noxious  matter  that  comes  from  the  mills.  During  the  past  fifty 
years  the  breach  has  been  rarely  filled  up  so  as  to  prevent  the 
influx  from  the  ocean,  and  at  the  present  time  a  fair  sized  boat 


■  can  go  out.  Years  ago  the  breach  was  much  farther  east  than  it 
is  to-day.  The  water  then  ran  out  at  vSand  Hill  Cove.  The  Sep- 
tember gale  of  181  f)  filled  up  the  old  breach,  and  after  the  storm 

;  .subsided  the  water  was  found  to  have  cut  through  at  the  present 
breach.  The  September  gale  of  1815  piled  up  those  immense 
heaps  of  sand  in  the  rear  of  Sand  Hill  Cove.     An  eye  witness 

'  of  this  storm  says  that  the  ocean  did  not  rise  gradually  with  the 
tide,  as  usual  with  high  seas,  but  that  these  immense  waves  were 

-followed  each  by  another  still,  until  finally  they  covered  Great 
Island  itself,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  square  feet. 

There  has  always  been  considerable  interest  in  boating  on  Lake 
Narragansett,  and  some  good  sailors'  crafts  have  been  in  the 

■pond,  and  many  have  been  the  races  and  the  contests  which  have 

-•taken  place.  In  those  days  a  good  view  was  had  from  Sugar  Loaf 
hill.     The  island  of  Narragansett,  which  Roger  Williams  men- 

Ltions,  however,  cannot  be  seen  from  that  point  now. 

XoTED  Pl.vces  in  WASHINGTON  CouNTV. — "  The  Devifs  Foot  " 
is  a  legendary  rock,  situated  on  the  old  post  road,  some  half  way 

"between  East  Greenwich  and  Wickford,  and  marks  the  first  land- 
ing place  of  the  Devil's  foot  when  he  left  his  home  among  the 

-Massachusetts  Puritans,  in  Cotton  Mather  s  time,  in  pursuit  of  an 

•  old  Indian  squaw.  This  ungrateful  Indian  woman  had  by  some 
hocus-pocus  transaction  honestly  forfeited  her  soul  to  this  arch- 

,  fiend  of  her  happiness,  and  then  meanly  attempted  to  escape  out 
.  of  her  sable  creditor's  presence  into  Rhode  Island.     The  devil, 

in  hot  pursuit,  left  the  first  print  of  his  foot  in  this  rock.  His 
■cloven  foot  next  struck  on  Chimnev  hill,  and  the  next  stride 
"landed  him  on  Block  Island,  where  he  captured  his  victim  and 
■returned  with  her  to  Boston,  where  she  was  delivered  up  to  the 

Puritan  children,  to  be  dealt  with  according  to  their  law. 

"  Rolling  Rock"  is  a  round  rock  placed  on  top  of  a  large  fiat 

■  rock  and  is  on  the  road  leading  from  Wickford  to  East  Greenwich. 
This  rock  is  said  to  weigh  about  fifteen  tons,  and  was  used  in  the 

*  times  of  the  Indians  to  call  their  tribes  together,  as  the  noise 
made  by  two  men  standing  on  top  and  rolling  it  can  be  heard  at 
a  great  distance. 

'"  Hall's  Rocks' "  are  a  clump  of  rocks  situated  one  half  mile 
north  of  Wickford:  and  about  a  mile  south  of  the  Rolling  Rock. 
This  place  derives  its  name  from  the  owner  of  the  land.     Many 

■  people  picnic  here,  as  the  land  is  high,  overlooking  many  points, 
;  and  affording  a , very  pleasant  view  of  Narragansett  bay.     Many 


people  from  the  larger  cities  come  here  and  spend  a  day  on  these 

"  Indian  Corner  "  is  a  place  in  North  Kingstown  leading  from 
Wickford  to  Kingston  hill,  and  about  one  and  one  half  miles 
east  of  Slocumville.  It  takes  its  name  from  a  battle  fought  here 
by  the  Indians,  many  of  whom  were  buried  here.  The  bones  are 
found  to  this  day.  There  is  a  large  rock  on  this  corner  as  you 
turn  the  road,  and  it  is  said  by  some  that  this  rock  is  of  a  red 
color  in  a  rain  storm.     This,  however,  is  pure  fiction. 

"  Wolf  Rocks  "  are  a  clump  of  rocks  situated  about  two  miles 
northwest  from  Kingston  hill.  There  is  a  cave  in  these  rocks 
where  it  is  said  a  wolf  lived  and  raised  young  ones,  and  was 
finally  driven  into  the  cave  and  followed  in  by  a  man  and  killed. 

"  Dumpy  Rocks  "  are  a  clump  of  rocks  about  four  hundred  feet 
long  and  at  the  highest  point  sixty  feet  high.  These  rocks  derived 
their  name  from  a  baby  by  the  name  of  Dumpy  that  was  killed 
and  placed  in  the  cracks  of  the  rocks.  The  rocks  are  four  and  a 
half  miles  from  Wickford. 

"  Horse  Yard  Run  "  is  a  place  in  the  woods  about  one  quarter 
of  a  mile  west  of  "  Dumpy  Rocks,"  on  land  owned  by  Z.  H.  Gardi- 
ner. There  is  about  one  acre  of  cleared  land  said  to  be  fenced 
in  and  used  in  olden  times  to  yard  horses  in  ;  as  in  those  days  the 
young  horses  ran  at  large  and  were  yarded  here,  so  they  called 
it  by  this  name. 

"  Handsome  Corner  "  is  a  place  south  of  Exeter  hill  and  it  de- 
rived its  name  from  a  very  handsome  lady  who  used  to  live  in  a 
hut  on  the  corner. 

'■  Cooper  Land  "  is  a  small  lot  on  the  road  leading  from  Slocum- 
ville west.    ■ 

"  Split  Rock  "  is  a  large  rock  situated  on  the  old  Tisdale  farm 
now  owned  by  William  Tisdale.  This  rock  has  the  appearance 
of  having  once  been  solid,  but  is  now  split  straight  from  top  to 
bottom.     It  is  about  thirtv  feet  hig-h. 



Richard  Smith.-The  Fones  Record.-The  Petitioners'  List.— The  Clarke  Family.— 
The  French  Settlement.— The  Landed  Aristocracy.— Extensive  Farms  and 
their  Dairy  Products.- Governor  Robinson.— Pettaquamscutt  and  its  Sur- 
roundings. ^Gilbert  Stuart.— George  Rome  and  his  Country  Villa.— An 
Extraordinary  Answer  to  Prayer.— Theophilus  Whalley.— The  Willetts.— The 
Hazards.— Ministry  Lands.— The  Pettaquamscutt  Purchase.— The  Church 
Difficulty.— The  Decision  of  the  King's  Council.— Reverend  James  Mo- 
Sparran,  D.  D. 

IN  point  of  settlement  Washington  county  may  be  regarded 
as  the  third  in  Rhode  Island,  Richard  Smith  having  settled 
the  town  of  North  Kingstown  in  1639.    Mr.  Smith  came  three 
years  after  the  settlement  of  Providence,  and  located  at  the  head 
of  what  is  now  called  Point  Wharf  Cove,  where  he  established  a 
trading  post,  and  erected  upon   the  site  of  the  present  Congdon 
House  the  first  English  dwelling  in  the  Narragansett  country. 
He  came  from  Taunton.     He  was  a  native  of  Gloucestershire, 
England,  but  he  came  from  the  aforementioned  place,  where  he 
resided  a  short  time,  and   from  which  he  brought  in  boats  the 
materials  with  which  he  constructed  his  house  ;  some  of  them 
were  employed  in  the  con.struction  of  the  present  edifice.    Roger 
Williams  soon  afterward  settled  near  Smith,  but  in  a  few  years 
sold  to  him  his  interests,  which  included  "  his  trading  house,  his 
two  big  guns  and  a  small  island  (Rabbit  Island)  for  goats."     In 
1656  Smith  leased  of  the  Indians  for  sixty  years  the  tract  of  land 
upon  which.  Wickford  now  stands,  and  as  far  south  as  the  Anna- 
quatucket  river.     Three  years  later  he  extended  the  boundaries 
and  leased  it  again  for  one  thousand  years,  together  with  the 
region  north  and  east  of  his  home,  now  known  as  Calves'  Neck 
and  Yawgoo.     In   1660  most  of  these  lands  were  absolutely  quit 
claimed  to  Smith.     The  tract  of  land  at  one  time  owned  b}'  him 
was  nine  miles  long  and  three  miles  wide. 

Smith  made  his  will  in  1664.     He  gave  his  homestead  and  the 


greater  part  of  his  lands  to  his  son  Richard,  who  in  turn  by  a 
will  proved  in  1692,  bequeathed  the  Boston  Neck  land  to  Elizabeth 
\' iall,  and  the  homestead  and  the  land  around  Wickford  to  his 
nephew,  Lodowick  Updike.  Roger  Williams,  in  his  testimony 
given  July  24th,  1679, in  favor  of  Smith's  title,  says:  "  I  humbly 
testify  that  about  forty  years  (from  this  date )  he  kept  possession, 
coming,  and  going  himself,  children  and  servants,  and  had  quiet 
possession  of  his  houses,  lands  and  meadows ;  and  there  in  his 
own  house,  with  much  serenity  of  soul  and  comfort,  he  yielded 
up  his  spirit  to  God,  the  father  of  spirits,  in  peace. 

"  I  do  also  humbly  declare  that  the  said  Richard  Smith,  junior, 
ought  by  all  the  rules  of  equity,  justice  and  gratitude  to  his  hon- 
ored father  and  himself,  to  be  fairly  treated  with,  considered 
recruited,  honored,  and  by  his  majesty's  authority,  confirmed 
and  established  in  a  peaceful  possession  of  his  father's  and  his 
own  possession  in  this  pagan  wilderness  and  Narragansett 

On  May  4th,  1668,  the  proprietors  and  inhabitants  of  Wick- 
ford addressed  a  petition  to  Connecticut  signed  by  the  following 
named  persons :  Daniel  Dennisen,  John  Crabtree,  Amos  Richis- 
son,  John  Paine,  Thomas  Joy,  Walter  House,  Daniel  Maddocke, 
Richard  Smith,  Tawik  Vandick,  Samuel  Eldred,  sen'r.,  William 
Hudson,  Macklin  Knight,  John  Cole,  Joshua  Hewes,  Francis 
Batts,  Alexander  Fenixe,  John  Viall,  Thomas  Flanders,  Samuel 

The  court  of  commissioners  from  the  Rhode  Island  assembly  on 
May  20th,  1671,  recorded  the  following  as  inhabitants  of  Wick- 
ford or  Acquidnessett :  Daniel  Gould,  Samuel  Dyre,  John  An- 
drews, William  Downing,  Samuel  Pratt,  George  Browne,  George 
Wightman,  Lodowick  Updike,  Thomas  Waterman,  James  Rey- 
nolds, Henry  Tibbetts,  Henry  Greene,  John  Briggs,  William 
Helme,  Robert  Wescott,  Richard  Updike,  Thomas  Gould,  John 
Sweet,  sen'r.,  Samuel  Waite,  John  Pratt,  John  Greene,  Daniel 
Greene,  Robert  Spink. 

During  the  Indian  war,  December  25th,  1675,  it  has  been  af- 
firmed that  every  house  in  Narragansett  was  destroyed,  and  the 
inhabitants  entirely  driven  out.  In  a  petition,  however,  dated 
July  29th,  1679,  we  find  the  following  list  who  were  inhabitants 
of  Narragansett :  William  Bentley,  Benjamin  Gardiner,  Sam. 
Wilson,  Robert  Spink,  Henry  Tibets,  Lodowick  LTpdike,  Sam. 
Eldred,  James  Renals,   vSam.  Alsbery,  Frell  Newton,  Jery  Bull, 


Robert  Yinin,  Robert  Spink,  Jun.,  Aaron  Jackwaise,  Henry  Gar- 
diner, George  Gardiner,  James  Greene,  Joseph  Dolaver,  William 
Knowls;  Richard  Smith,  Aurthur  Aylesworth,  Thomas  Scoville, 
William  Gardiner,  George  Palmer,  Thomas  Gold,  John  Eldred, 
John  Sheldon,  Thomas  Brooks,  John  Greene,  Daniel  Greene, 
James  Runnels,  Alex  Fenex,  Rouse  Helme,  John  Cpale,  Henry 
Renals,  Daniel  Sweet,  John  Sheldon,  Jun.,  Nicholas  Gardiner, 
George  Whitman,  Daniel  Eldred,  William  Coster,  Joseph  Rey- 

The  following  were  the  inhabitants  of  Pettaquamscutt  as  given 
by  the  court  of  commissioners  in  May,  1671 :  Jerah  Bull,  Thomas 
Mumford,  Rouse  Helme,  Benjamin  Gardiner,  George  Palmer, 
George  Crofts,  Samuel  Wilson,  John  Tefft,  James  Eldredge, 
Henry  Gardiner,  Stephen  Northrup,  Enoch  Plaice,  John  Potter, 
William  Heffernan,  Samuel  Albro,  Nicholas  Gardiner,  William 
Aires,  Christopher  Holmes. 

These  lists  contain  most  of  the  pioneers  of  Narragansett  up 
to  1680. 

From  the  Fones  Record  we  find  that  the  inhabitants  of  Narra- 
gansett July  3d,  1663,  were  as  follows:  Henry  Tibbets,  Samuel 
Eldred,  Jr.,  Joshua  Thomas,  Thomas  Sewall,  Walter  House, 
Richard  Smith,  William  Hudson,  James  Brown,  R.  Smith,  Jr., 
Thomas  Stanton,  Jr.,  Samuel  Waite,  Ambrose  Leach,  Samuel 
Eldred,  James  Cole,  Henry  Stevens,  Edward  Hutchinson,  for  his 
son  Elisha,  Wait  Winthrop,  Thomas  Stanton,  R.  Lord,  James 
Atherton,  Alex.  Fenex,  George  Palmer,  John  Crabtree,  Reuben 
Willis,  John  Greene,  George  Dennison,  Timothy  Mather,  Amos 
Richeson,  R.  Smith  in  behalf  of  eight  children. 

Of  those  mentioned  in  the  above  list  it  may  be  that  some  were 
proprietors  and  not  actual  residents. 

The  following  copy  from  the  Fones  Record  in  the  ofifice  of  the 
secretary  of  state  may  be  of  interest  to  the  readers  of  the  above  : 

"  Narragansett,  July  3,  1663. 

"  We  whose  name  are  underwritten  being  the  Inhabitants  and 
Proprietrs  of  the  lands  lying  in  the  Narragansett  have  done  & 
doe  desier  (according  to  his  Majestys  grante)  to  be  under  the 
governmtt  of  Connecticot  Collony  &  Request  there  protection  ac- 
cording to  a  letter  sent  in  June  last. 

"  Mr.  Bradstreet  &  others  have  desired  ye  same  in  ye  letters 
formerly  Mentioned. 


"  Henry  T.  Tibit, 

Samuel  (his  W  mark)  Waite, 

Alexander  (his  A  mark)  ffenwick, 

Samuel  (his  S  mark)  Eldred,  junr. 

Ruben  R.  Willis, 

Walter  (his  X  mark)  House, 

Henry  "(his  X  mark)  Stevens, 

John  Green, 

Ambrose  A  Leach, 

Enock  (his  X  mark)  Plais, 

George  A.  Palmer, 

John  (his  X  mark)  Hewes, 

Samuel  (his  X  mark)  Eldred, 

Jno.  Crabtree, 

Thos.  (his  X  mark)  Sewell, 

Jno.  Cole, 

Richard  Smith, 

Edward  Hutchinson  and  for  his  son  Elisha,  Will  Hudson. 

Waite  Winthrop, 

George  Denison, 

James  Browne, 

Thomas  Stanton,  Senr. 

Timo.  Mosher, 

Richard  Smith,  Junr. 

Richard  Lord, 

Amos  Richison, 

Tho.  Stanton,  Junr. 

Increase  Atherton, 

Richard  Smith  in  behalf  of  8  children." 
Clarke  Family. — This  family  has  been  and  is  still  a  promi- 
nent one  in  both  the  county  and  state.  They  are  descendants  of 
Governors  Jeremiah  and  John  Clarke  (through  his  brothers),  who 
figure  conspicuously  in  our  colonial  history  but  who  were  not  re- 
lated to  each  other.  Governor  John  Clarke  had  no  children. 
The  descendants  of  this  family  come  through  his  brothers.  Jere- 
miah Clarke's  name  first  appears  to  a  public  document  April  28th, 
1689,  at  Pocasset.  He  held  various  prominent  positions  from 
1642  to  1649,  when  he  became  the  prominent  leader  of  the  new 
colony  in  opposition  to  Governor  Coddington,  serving  from  1649 
to  1653.     He  died  in  1661. 

Two  of  Governor  Clarke's  sons-in-law  were  governors  of   the 


colony,  as  also  his  son  Walter  and  his  grandson,  Samuel  Crans- 
ton. Among  his  descendants  who  have  been  honored  by  elec- 
tion as  governors  of  Rhode  Island,  is  the  second  William  Greene, 
of  Warwick,  making  six  of  his  family  who  have  filled  that  high 
position,  as  follows  :  Jeremiah  Clarke,  1  year  ;  Walter  Clarke,  son 
of  Jeremiah,  4  years ;  John  Cranston,  son-in-law  of  Jeremiah,  2 
years  ;  Caleb  Carr,  son-in-law  of  Jeremiah,  1  year ;  Samuel  Crans- 
ton, grandson  of  Jeremiah,  29  years  ;  William  Greene,  1st,  mar- 
ried Catherine  Greene,  great-great-granddaughter,  11  years ; 
William  Greene,  2d,  5th  generation  in  descent,  8  years. 

Those  of  his  family  who  have  been  deputy  or  lieutenant-gov- 
ernors Of  Rhode  Island,  are  six,  viz. :  John  Cranston,  son-in-law, 
3  years ;  Walter  Clarke,  son,  21  years  ;  John  Gardiner,  married 
Frances  Sanford,  granddaughter,  9  years ;  William  Greene,  1st, 
married  Catherine  Greene,  4th  generation,  1  year ;  William 
Greene,  7th  generation,  2  years ;  Samuel  G.  Arnold,  3  years. 

The  term  of  service  of  the  second  Governor  Greene  closed  in 
May,  1786,  therefore,  from  the  union  of  the  towns  in  1647,  to  1786, 
one  hundred  and  thirty-nine  years,  the  seat  had  been  occupied 
fifty-six  years  by  members  of  this  family,  to  which  might 
properly  be  added  the  three  years  of  the  Andros  usurpation, 
when  Walter  Clarke  being  the  incumbent,  may  be  regarded  as 
legally  governor,  making  fifty-nine  years ;  this  leaves  eighty 
years  for  others.  During  that  period,  not  improbably,  some  of 
the  more  recent  incumbents  are  also  of  the  same  stock,  for  the 
extent  to  which  the  blood  of  Jeremiah  Clarke  permeated  the 
community  of  native  Rhode  Islanders  is  a  perfect  marvel. 

During  the  first  one  hundred  years,  or  from  ]  647  to  1747,  this 
family  held  the  governorship  forty-four  years,  including  the  sus- 
pension of  the  charter,  leaving  fifty-six  years  for  others  to  occupy 
it.  During  the  same  time  they  held  the  deputy-governorship 
twenty-seven  years. 

Jeremy  Clarke  was  a  witness  to  the  deed  of  Misquamicut, 
now  Westerly,  June  29th,  1660. 

Walter  Clarke,  the  eldest  son  of  Jeremiah,  was  born  in  1640, 
and  died  May  22d,  1714.  He  was  governor  of  the  colony  in  1676 
-7,  and  from  May,  1680,  to  June,  1686,  dc  facto,  and  from  June, 
1686,  to  February,  1690,  dc  jure;  also  from  May,  1695,  to  May, 
1698.  He  was  deputy-governor  from  1679  to  1686,  and  from  1700 
to  1714,  holding  both  offices  twenty-seven  years,  the  latter  at  the 


time  of  his  decease.    He  was  a  deputy  from  Newport  in  1672-3-4, 
and  assistant  in  1675. 

French  Settee.meni-s.— Tlie  motive  which  led  to  the  settle- 
ment of  the  Huguenots  in  Rhode  Island  was  in  a  measure  a  re- 
ligious one.  The  reformation  which  took  place  in  the  sixteenth 
century  was  attended  with  almost  unceasing  wars  and  civil  con- 
vulsions. The  Lutheran  reformation  soon  spread  over  Europe. 
In  1562  the  dissensions  between  the  two  religious  parties  in 
France  had  risen  -to  such  a  height  that  an  open  war  broke  out  be- 
tween them.  The  Catholic  party  had  the  advantage  of  having 
all  the  power  of  the  civil  government  and  drove  the  Protestants 
from  France.  In  the  meantime,  however,  the  war  continued 
with  more  or  less  violence  until  1572,  when  the  leaders  of  the 
Protestant  party  being  invited  to  Paris  on  pretense  of  bringing 
about  a  general  reconciliation,  the  ever  memorable  massacre  of 
St.  Bartholomew  was  brought  about.  In  this  massacre  seventy 
thousand  Protestants  fell  victims  to  the  bloody  spirit  of  religious 
persecution.  This  massacre  took  place  in  the  reign  of  Charles 
the  Ninth,  and  the  Catholics  in  France  and  at  Rome  celebrated 
this  event  with  thanksgiving  and  jubilees,  and  medals  were 
struck  in  commemoration  of  their  victory. 

In  the  year  1598  the  Edict  of  Nantes  was  published  but  perse- 
cutions continued  as  relentless  as  before,  and  under  the  reign  of 
Louis  the  Fourteenth  this  Edict  was  repealed  and  the  persecuted 
had  to  flee  the  country.  The  number  that  left  the  kingdom  took 
up  their  flight  to  England,  Holland,  Geneva,  Brandenburg  and 
America,  and  has  been  variously  estimated,  sometimes  as  high  as 
a  million.  Those  who  came  to  America  settled  at  New  Rochelle 
in  the  state  of  New  York,  in  New  York  city,  on  the  James  river 
in  Virginia,  on  the  Santee  river  and  in  Charleston,  South  Caro- 
lina, and  others  came  to  Massachusetts  and  Rhode  Island. 
Among  the  descendants  were  many  who  took  an  active  part  in 
our  American  revolution  and  who  were  otherwise  distinguished 
as  statesmen  or  public  benefactors. 

About  thirty  families  from  France  settled  in  Massachusetts. 
They  received  a  grant  of  ten  or  twelve  thousand  acres  of  land, 
in  the  township  of  Oxford. 

October  12th,  1686,  Richard  Wharton,  Elisha  Hutchinson  and 
John  Baffin,  a  committee  of  the  so-called  proprietors  of  the  Nar- 
ragansett  country,  made  an  agreement  with  Ezechiel  Carrd,  Peter 
Le  Breton  and  other  French  emigrants  for  the  settlement  of  a 


plantation  in  the  Narragansett  country  to  be  called  Newberry. 
This  location,  however,  wa.s  subsequently  changed,  November 
4th,  1686,  and  the  proprietors  or  bay  purchasers  agreed  to  convey 
to  the  emigrants  a  tract  of  land  in  the  township  of  Rochester 
(Kingstown),  "  above  ye  Long  Meadow  Kickameeset  about 
Captain  John  Fones  his  house  wherein  each  family  yt  desires  it 
shall  have  one  hundred  acres  of  Upland  in  two  divisions,  viz  : 
A  house  lott  containing  twenty  Acres  being  twenty  Rods  broad 
in  ye  front  laid  out  in  due  ordr  wth  street  or  high  way  of  Six 
Rods  broad  to  run  between  ye  sd  lotts  upon  wch  they  shall  front. 
Secondly  yt  ye  Second  division  to  make  sd  hundred  acres  of  up- 
land shall  be  laid  out  on  ye  western  side  of  ye  sd  house  lotts  as 
near  as  ye  Land  will  bear  yt  all  ye  sd  meadow  wth  yt.  wch  lieth 
adjacent  between  ye  Southern  Purchase  &a  west  line  yt  is  to  run 
from  John  Androes  Northern  Corner  above  ye  Path  shall  be  di- 
vided into  one  hundred  parts,  each  one  to  have  his  proportion 
according  to  ye  quantity  of  land  he  shall  take  up  &  subscribe  for 
yt  there  shall  be  laid  out  for  ye  sd  Mr.  Ezechiel  Carre  ye  pr.  sent 
Minister  One  hundred  and  fifty  acres  of  upland  &  meadow  in  ye 
same  manner  proportionable  Gratis  to  him  &  his  heires  forevr 
and  one  hundred  acres  of  upland  &  meadow  proportionable  to 
an  Orthodox  Protestant  Ministry  &  fifty  acres  of  like  land  to- 
wards the  maintainance  of  a  Protestant  school  master  for  ye  Town 

The  copy  of  the  agreement  is  signed  by  Wharton,  Hutchinson 
and  Safifin,  and  deeds  were  to  be  executed  when  the  terms  were 
complied  with.  The  names  of  the  French  settlers  who  signed 
the  counterpart  were  probably  the  same  as  those  which  appear 
on  the  plat,  viz.:  William  Barbret,  Paul  Collin,  Jean  Germon,  De- 
champs,  Fougere,  Grignon,  Legare,  Robineau,  Peter  Ayrault, 
Magni,  Jr.,  Magni,  Sr.,  David,  Jr.,  David,  Sr.,  Chadene,  foretier, 
Ezechiel  Carre,  Ministre,  Louis  Alaire,  Grasilier,  Amian  Lafou, 
Belhair,  Milard  Jouet,  Renaud  Le  gendre,  Bertin  dit  Laronde, 
Menardeau,  Galay,  Ratier,  David  Beauchamps,  Moize  Le  Brun, 
Le  Breton,  La  Vigne,  Jamain,  Bussereau  Le  Moine,  Abraum 
Tourtellot,  La  Vene  Galay,  Targe,  Jr.,  Targe,  Sr.,  Tauerrier, 
Bouniot,  Arnaud,  Lambert  Rambert,  Coudret,  Jean  Jullien. 

It  is  impossible  to  locate  the  place  of  settlement  of  this  com- 
pany exactly,  but  the  tradition  in  the  Mawney  family  and  in  the 
neighborhood  points  to  the  Mawney  farm  and  the  land  around 
and  north  of  the  Briggs  Corners,  so  called,  as  being  the  site  of 

56  HISTORY    OK    \VASH[N-(;T()N    and    KENT   COUNTIKS. 

it.  On  the  northerly  part  of  the  Mawney  farm  in  the  southeast 
corner  of  East  Greenwich  is  a  place  by  a  spring,  which  has  always 
been  known  as  the  French  orchard.  Here  are  the  remains  of 
foundations  of  cabins  or  huts,  shell  banks,  etc. 

The  name  Le  Moine,  now  known  as  Money  or  Mawney,  has 
been  a  common  one  in  the  town  of  East  (jreenwich.  Col- 
onel Peter  Mawney  i.-;  named  on  the  oldest  plat  of  that  town. 
He  was  born  in  1689,  and  died  in  I7.")4.  He  was  the  son 
of  Moses  Le  Moine.  Colonel  Peter  Mawney  had  six  daughters 
and  two  sons,  one  of  whom,  Doctor  John  Mawney,  was  sheriff 
of  Providence  for  some  time,  and  was  in  the  expedition  that 
burned  the  "  Gaspee."  Pardon  Mawney,  his  brother,  was  the 
father  of  fifteen  children,  one  of  whom,  John  G.  Mawney,  was 
postmaster  at  East  (Treenwich  for  thirty-five  years  or  more. 
His  two  sons,  William  T.and  John  G.  Mawney,  are  now  residents 
of  East  (jreenwich.  William  T.  Mawney  has  a  cane  from  the 
last  tree  of  the  old  French  orchard.  As  a  relic  of  the  Hugue- 
nots, with  its  bands  and  inscriptions,  it  is  worthy  of  preservation. 
He  married  Eliza  A.,  granddaughter  of  Robert  Sherman,  of 
Exeter.  Moses  Mawne}-  was  the  seventh  child  of  the  fifth  gen- 
eration. He  was  born  in  1780,  and  died  in  1821.  His  three  chil- 
dren living  are  :  Robert  Ct.,  Hannah  (  Mrs.  Joseph  R.  Arnold),  and 
Eliza  A. 

The  Laxded  Aristocracy  of  Nakkacaxsett. — Updike,  speak- 
ing of  the  landed  aristocracy  of  Narragansett,  says  :  "  In  Xarra- 
gansett  resided  the  great  landed  aristocracy  of  the  colony.  Their 
plantations  were  large  ;  some  of  them  very  extensive."  Major 
Alason,  of  Connecticut,  in  a  letter  to  the  commissioners  of  that 
colony,  dated  August  3d,  1()7(),  persuading  them  to  relinquish  all 
further  claims  of  jurisdiction  over  the  Narragansett  country, 
.says:  "Those  places  that  are  any  way  considerable  are  already 
taken  up  by  se,veral  men  in  farms  and  large  tracts  of  lands,  some 
five,  .six  and  ten  miles  square — yea,  some  have  I  suppose  much 
more  which  you  or  some  of  yours  may  see  or  feel  hereafter. 
These  things  I  know  to  be  true,  as  they  did  manifestly  appear  in 
view  when  the  commissioners  were  at  Narragansett.  I  suppo.-e 
you  cannot  be  unacquainted  with  these  things." 

The  original  tract  taken  up  and  owned  by  Richard  Smith  was 
three  miles  wide  and  nine  miles  long.  Mr.  Isaac  P.  Hazard,  in  a 
communication,  states:  "The  farm  of  my  great-grandfather, 
Robert  Hazard,  extended  from  the  Jencks  farm  (which  it  includ- 


ed)  to  the  south  end  of  Boston  Neck  and  extended  across  the 
Pettaquamsctitt  river  to  near  where  the  village  of  Peace  Dale 
now  is,  and  I  am  not  sure  but  that  it  took  in  a  great  part  of  this 
village.  He  had  extensive  ranges  for  cattle  and  horses  some- 
where in  the  neighborhood  of  the  Great  Pond  or  Worden  Pond, 
and  I  have  heard  my  father  say  that  at  one  time  he  occupied 
nearly  twelve  thousand  acres. 

"  The  principal  value  of  his  lands,  however,  consisted  of  about 
two  thousand  acres  lying  on  Boston  Neck  and  immediately  on 
the  west  side  of  Pettaquamscutt  river  which  separated  it  from 
Boston  Neck  Lands. 

"  My  grandfather,  Governor  William  Robinson's  farm,  em- 
braced the  north  part  of  Point  Judith,  including  Little  Neck,  ex- 
tending south  one  or  two  farms  below  the  farm  now  owned  by 
my  brother,  Joseph  P.  Hazard,  and  westward  to  Sugar  Loaf  Hill." 

"  Governor  William  Robinson  owned acres ;  he  devised  val- 
uable farms  to  his  sons.  Colonel  vStanton  owned  one  tract  of 
four  and  a  half  miles  long  and  two  miles  wide ;  he  kept  forty 
horses  and  as  many  slaves,  and  made  a  great  dairy  besides  other 
productions.  After  his  death  his  son  Lodowick  kept  thirty  cows 
on  one  hundred  and  fifty  acres  of  it.  Colonel  Champlin  possessed 
m  one  tract  over  one  thousand  acres,  kept  thirty-five  horses,  fifty- 
five  cows,  six  hundred  to  seven  hundred  sheep  and  a  propor- 
tionate nuinber  of  slaves.  Hezekiah  Babcock,  of  Hopkinton,  im- 
proved eight  hundred  acres  ;  James  Babcock,  of  Westerly,  owned 
two  thousand  acres,  horses,  slaves  and  stock  in  proportion;  Col- 
onel Joseph  Noyes  had  four  hundred  acres,  kept  twenty-two 
horses  and  twenty-five  cows.  His  son  afterward  kept  fifty-two 
cows  on  the  same  farm.     Colonel  Upkike,  the  colony  attorney, 

owned   three   thousand   acres.      Colonel   Potter  possessed   

acres  now  constituting  seven  valuable  farms.  Mr.  Sewall  sixteen 
hundred  acres  in  Boston  Neck  which  now  constitute  six  farms  of 
the  aggregate  value  of  $27,000.  The  Gardiners,  Miles  and  Bren- 
tons  owned  large  tracts  of  valuable  land.  The  ordinary  farm 
contained  three  hundred  acres.  They  were  improved  by  slaves 
and  laboring  Indians.  The  slaves  and  horses  were  about  equal 
in  number.  Corn,  tobacco,  cheese  and  wool  were  the  staple  arti- 
cles produced,  and  horses  were  reared  for  exportation." 

Douglass,  in  his  summary  printed  in  1760,  says :  "  Rhode  Is- 
land colony  in  general  is  a  country  pasture,  not  for  grain  ;  by  ex- 
tending along. the  shore  of  the  ocean  and  a  great  bay,  the  air  is 


softened  by  a  sea  vapor  which  fertilizeth  the  soil ;  their  winters- 
are  softer  and  shorter  than  up  inland ;  it  is  noted  for  dairies 
whence  the  best  of  cheese  made  in  any  part  of  New  England  is- 
called  (abroad)  Rhode  Island  cheese." 

"The  most  considerable  farms  are  in  the  Narragansett  country. 
Their  highest  dairy  of  one  farm  milks  about  one  hundred  and 
ten  cows,  cuts  two  hundred  loads  of  hay,  makes  about  thirteen 
thousand  pounds  of  cheese,  besides  butter,  and  sells  off  consid- 
erable in  calves  and  fatted  bullocks.  A  farmer  from  seventy- 
three  milch  cows  in  five  months  made  ten  thousand  pounds  of 
cheese ;  besides  cheese,  in  a  season  one  cow  yields  one  firkin  of 
butter,  from  seventy  to  eighty  pounds.  In  good  land  they  rec- 
kon after  the  rate  of  two  acres  for  a  milch  cow.  " 

Mr.  Hazard,  in  the  same  communication,  further  states : 
"  From  my  father  and  grandmother  I  have  heard  that  my  great- 
grandfather, Robert  Hazard,  had  twelve  negro  women  as  dairy- 
women,  each  of  whom  had  a  girl  to  assist  her,  making  from 
twelve  to  twenty-four  cheese  a  day  ;  and  since  I  have  grown  up 
we  had  one  of  his  cheese  vats  of  the  second  size,  according  to  the 
tradition  in  our  family,  which  held  nearly  one  bushel.  My  father 
has  informed  me  that  so  superior  was  the  grass  in  the  early  set- 
tlement of  this  country  that  nearly  double  the  milk  or  butter  and 
cheese  was  obtained  from  a  cow  as  at  present,  and  that  only 
twelve  cows  were  allowed  to  each  dairy-woman  and  her  assistant. 
One  hundred  and  fifty  cows  being  about  the  number  he  usually 

"  The  hay  fields  and  meadows,  to  use  my  father's  expression, 
grew  '  full  of  grass,'  meaning  the  grass  was  very  thick  all  over 
them,  and  as  high  as  the  tops  of  the  walls  and  fences,  the  same 
as  it  now  grows  on  the  virgin  soil  of  the  West,  and  my  father 
frequently  observed  in  contrasting  them  that  he  doubted  if  any 
western  lands  would  produce  more  grass  than  Boston  Neck 
would  when  first  settled.  As  a  proof  of  its  excellence  my  father 
observed  that  his  grandfather  paid  for  some  of  his  last  purchases 
sixty  dollars  per  acre,  when  money  was  double  the  value  it  is  now 
(1847),  or  more,  and  new  lands  back  a  little  way  from  the  sea 
plenty  and  at  a  very  small  price. 

"  He  kept  about  four  thousand  sheep,  manufacturing  most  of 
the  clothing,  both  woolen  and  linen,  for  his  household,  which 
must  have  been  very  large,  as  I  heard  my  grandmother  say  that 
after  he  partially  retired  from  his  extensive  farming  operations 


or  curtailed  them  by  giving  up  part  of  his  lands  to  his  children, 
he  congratulated  his  family  and  friends  on  the  small  number  to 
which  he  had  reduced  his  household  for  the  coming  winter,  being 
only  seventy  in  parlor  and  kitchen. 

"  Grain  and  probably  hay  (but  of  the  last  I  am  not  informed), 
were  at  that  time  shipped  to  the  West  Indies,  but  of  the  extent 
of  his  grain  crop  I  know  nothing  except  what  my  father  has  told 
me,  that  he  generally  loaded  two  vessels  annually -at  or  near  the 
South  ferry  with  cheese  and  grain  in  the  hold  and  horses  on  deck, 
all  the  produce  of  his  farm,  which  sailed  direct  for  the  West  In- 
dies ;  and  the  balance  was  sold  in  Newport  and  sometimes  in 
Boston,  where  his  cheese  was  in  high  repute,  selling  at  nearly 
double  the  usual  rates." 

"  Agriculture  on  the  sea  coast  of  Rhode  Island  at  that  time 
was  on  a  very  different  scale  from  what  it  is  now,  as  the  West 
Indies,  which  were  early  settled,  furnished  a  good  ready  market 
for  these  small  British  colonies  on  the  Atlantic  coast  of  North 

"  The  labor  was  then  mostly  performed  by  African  slaves  or 
Narragansett  Indians,  who  were  then,  as  they  still  are,  a  most 
efficient  body  of  laborers  and  of  great  use  to  the  farmers  during 
hay  harvest  particularly." 

"  The  Sewall  farm  kept  one  hundred  cows  and  produced  13,000 
pounds  of  cheese  annually.  N.  Hazard  kept  forty-two  cows  and 
made  9,200  pounds  of  cheese  from  the  Champlin  farm  of  7,000 
acres.  Joseph  N.  Austin,  on  the  Clarke  farm  of  350  acres,  kept 
thirty-six  cows  and  made  8,000  pounds  of  cheese.  Rowland 
Robinson  improved  1,000  acres  and  made  an  immense  dairy. 
One  cow  would  average  two  pounds  of  cheese  a  day.  Rents  were 
payable  in  produce,  and  from  the  breaking  out  of  the  French 
revolution  to  the  general  peace  upon  the  expulsion  of  Napoleon, 
the  United  States  being  the  neutral  carriers  for  Europe,  the  price 
of  cheese  was  ten  dollars  per  hundred  and  corn  and  barley,  etc., 
in  due  proportion,  and  the  rents  being  paid  in  cheese  and  other 
produce,  vast  amounts  were  raised.  Of  cheese  6,600  pounds  were 
equivalent  to  $600  annual  rent  for  years.  The  cream  was  then 
used  in  cheese,  and  the  Narragansett  cheese  maintained  high 
character  for  richness  and  flavor,  but  subsequently  butter  had 
risen  and  cheese  fallen  in  price,  consequently  the  cream  was 
wrought  into  butter  and  cheese  lost  its  value  and  reputation. 
Recently  a  money  rent  has  been  substituted  for  a  produce  rent, 
and  the  productive  value  of  the  former  staples  has  diminished. 


"  The  wife  of  Richard  Smith  brought  from  Gloucestershire  to 
this  country  the  recipe  for  making  the  celebrated  Cheshire 
cheese,  and  from  that  recipe  the  Narragansett  was  made  in  imi- 
tation of  the  Cheshire  cheese,  and  it  early  gained  for  the  table 
and  market  an  established  reputation  for  superior  flavor  and  ex- 
cellence, and  continued  to  maintain  its  predominating  character 
until  the  farmers,  as  before  mentioned,  were  induced  to  convert 
their  cream  into  butter." 

Pettaquamscutt  and  its  vSuRROUNDiNGs. — Gilbert  Stuart, 
the  celebrated  portrait  painter,  was  a  native  of  Narragansett. 
His  father  came  from  Scotland,  and  located  his  possessions  at 
the  head  of  Pettaquamscutt  lake,  one  of  the  most  beautiful  sheets 
of  water  imaginable,  worthy  of  the  pseudonym  "  The  Killarney 
of  New  England."  At  this  place  he  built  a  two  story  house,  in 
the  northeast  chamber  of  which  his  son,  Gilbert,  was  born  in 
April,  1756 ;  and  his  fame  as  an  artist  will  remain  as  long  as  the 
memory  of  the  great  original  of  his  Washington  is  revered  by 
the  citizens  of  these  United  States. 

Gilbert  went  to  England-in  ITT."),  and  became  a  pupil  of  Ben- 
jamin West.  From  London  he  went  to  Ireland  by  invitation  of 
the  Viceroy,  the  Duke  of  Rutland,  but  did  not  arrive  there  until 
after  the  duke's  decease. 

After  some  j^ears  spent  abroad  he  returned  to  America  for  the 
sole  purpose  of  painting  General  Washington.  His  last  years 
were  spent  in  Boston.  His  father's  name  was  Gilbert,  his  mother 
was  an  Anthony. 

The  Snuff  Mill  pond  is  a  small  pond  from  which  the  small 
river  flows  that  empties  into  Pettaquamscutt  lake.  This  pond 
formerly  abounded  with  pike  and  pickerel,  in  some  instances 
weighing  more  than  twenty  potmds.  To  the  north  and  west  of 
this  pond  a  large  tract  of  woodland  extends,  and  to  the  north 
and  east  of  it  lies  the  estate  of  Creorge  Rome,  consisting  of  seven 
hundred  acres,  having  a  fine  mansion  house  upon  it.  This  man- 
sion house,  Mr.  Updike  says,  was  highly  finished  and  furnished. 
The  beds  were  concealed  from  view  in  the  wainscots.  The 
rooms  might  be  tra\-ersed  throughout  and  not  a  bed  for  the  re- 
pose of  his  guests  be  seen.  This  was  a  matter  of  astoni.shment 
for  the  colonial  observer.  When  the  hour  for  retirement  arrived 
a  servant  would  just  give  a  touch  to  a  .spring  in  the  ceiling,  and 
the  visitor  s  bed,  by  means  of  a  self-adjusting  process,  would 
protrude  itself  as  if  by  the  effect  of  magic,  ready  prepared  for 


the  reception  of  its  tenant.  His  garden  contained  the  rarest 
native  and  exotic  varieties.  He  lived  in  splendor,  and  enter- 
tained his  friends  with  sumptuous  hospitality. 

Mr.  Rome  sometimes  styled  his  residence  "my  country  villa," 
and  again,  "  Bachelor's  Hall."  "  My  compliments,"  writes  Mr. 
Rome  to  a  friend  of  Colonel  Stewart,  "  May  I  ask  the  favor  of 
you  both  to  come  to  a  Christmas  dinner  with  me  at  Bachelor's 
Hall,  and  celebrate  the  festivities  of  the  season  in  Narragansett 
woods  ?  A  covy  of  partridges  or  a  bevy  of  quails  will  be  enter- 
tainment for  the  colonel  and  me,  while  the  pike  and  perch  in  the 
pond  will  amuse  you." 

He  occasionally  gave  large  parties,  at  which  the  ladies  and 
gentlemen  of  Boston,  Newport  and  Narragansett  would  equally 
mingle.  Punch  was  the  fashionable  beverage  at  that  period,  and 
the  entertainments  at  Bachelors'  Hall  were  extravagant.  Mr. 
Hazard,  in  his  "  Recollections  of  Olden  Times,"  relates  the  fol- 
lowing amusing  incident : 

"  It  was  at  one  of  these  entertainments  that  the  most  extra- 
ordinary answer  to  prayer  probably  on  record  occurred.  It  seems 
that  Lawyer  Bourne,  of  Providence,  had  indulged  to  such  an  ex- 
tent in  libations  from  the  enticing  punch  bowl  that  his  senses 
became  so  stupefied  that  his  boon  companions  really  feared  life 
was  extinct.  It  was  conceded  by  the  host  and  all  present  that 
something  must  be  done,  and  there  being  no  minister  of  the 
Gospel  at  hand,  in  the  emergency,  Lawyer  Joe  Aplin,  of  Little 
Rest  hill — more  than  half  seas  over  himself — was  appealed  to  by 
the  company  as  the  next  best  qualified  to  offer  up  a  prayer  for 
the  restoration  of  his  friend. 

"Though  totally  unused  to  the  vocation  thus  suddenly  cast 
upon  him.  Lawyer  Joe  commenced  in  a  vein  in  which  he  was  ac- 
customed to  address  a  Rhode  Island  Judge  of  the  Court  of  Com- 
mon Pleas,  thinking  to  be  heard  for  his  much  speaking  rather 
than  from  any  mitigating  circumstances  he  had  to  offer  in  behalf 
of  his  drunken  client.  After  some  half  an  hour's  maudlin  sup- 
plication by  his  friend,  poor  Bourne  still  showed  no  signs  of  re- 
turning to  life,  and  Aplin  closed  with  an  impassioned  call  on  the 
'  Lord  Jesus  to  have  mercy  on  poor  Bourne,  even  as  he  had  mercy 
on  the  thieves  on  the  cross,  he  being  a  much  greater  sinner  than 
either  of  them.'  Simultaneous  with  the  last  words  uttered  by 
Aplin  a  loud  snort  issued  from  the  nostrils  of  Bourne,  followed 
by  an  uproarious  burst  of  laughter,  and  he  was  well  from  that 


moment,  and  probably  the  most  sober  man  in  the  company.  The 
last  appeal  made  in  his  behalf,  Bourne  said,  was  too  irresistibly 
ludicrous  even  for  a  dead  man  to  resist." 

Theophilus  Whalley.  the  regicide,  after  coming  to  this  coun- 
try, took  up  his  residence  in  a  homely  cottage  a  half  mile  or  less 
south  of  Snuff  Mill  pond.  The  house  stood  on  a  gentle  declivity 
of  a  hill  on  the  eastern  side  of  the  lake,  and  there  Mr.  Whalley 
lived  many  years.  He  came  from  Virginia  about  1679-80,  built 
an  underground  hut  at  the  north  end  of  the  pond,  and  lived  by 
fishing  and  by  writing  for  the  settlers.  From  his  name  he  was 
supposed  to  be  one  of  the  Judges  of  King  Charles  I.,  but  when 
questioned  answered  obscurely.  The  farm  on  which  he  lived  is 
"known  as  the  Willett  farm.  Colonel  Frances  Willett  said  that 
-the  gentlemen  who  visited  them  from  Boston  in  his  father's  time 
treated  Whalley  with  great  respect,  and  furnished  him  with 
money.  In  Queen  Anne's  war  a  ship  of  war,  whose  captain's 
name  was  Whale  or  Whalley,  anchored  near  there,  and  they  vis- 
ited and  recognized  each  other  as  cousins.  Whalley,  or  as  he 
was  sometimes  named.  Whale,  used  to  say  that  he  was  of  colle- 
giate education,  and  had  been  brought  up  delicately,  and  had  been 
a  captain  in  the  Indian  wars  in  Virginia.  He  was  versed  in 
Greek,  Hebrew,  etc.  He  subsisted  part  of  the  time  by  weaving. 
He  died  about  1719-20,  aged  104  years. 

From  Doctor  Stiles'  "  History  of  the  Judges"  we  learn  that 
the  Whalley  who  lived  in  concealment  at  the  head  of  the  Pet- 
taquamscutt  pond,  in  Narragansett,  was  the  real  Colonel  Whal- 
ley, who  ^was  one  of  the  regicide  judges  of  King  Charles  I. 
His  children  and  descendants  believed  it,  and  the  best  of  au- 
thorities are  now  confident  of  the  fact,  although  the  true  facts 
of  the  case  were  for  a  long  time  shrouded  in  mystery.  Colonel 
Whalley  received  remittances  annually  from  friends  in  Eng- 
land. The  Willett  farm  was  afterward  owned  and  occupied  by 
Willett  Carpenter.  Mr.  Sewall  and  other  gentlemen  from  Boston 
would  visit  Mr.  Whalley  annually  and  privately  confer  with 
him,  and  after  they  would  go  away  he  Avould  have  plenty  of 

Lieutenant  Whalley  was  one  of  the  same  family  of  the  Judge, 
and  served  in  Hacker's  regiment.  Hacker,  though  not  a  judge, 
yet  commanded  at  the  execution  of  the  king,  and  was  himself 
executed  in  1660. 


Colonel  Whalley,  when  advanced  in  age,  removed  to  West 
'Greenwich,  and  resided  on  a  farm  he  had  previously  purchased. 
The  assignment  on  the  deed,  dated  February,  1711,  was  in  his 
■own  handwriting.  Miss  Martha  Whalley,  a  descendant  of  his, 
married  Sylvester  Sweet,  April  16th,  1772. 

The  Willett  farm  above  referred  to  is  situated  south  of  and 
-adjoining  that  of  the  regicide,  and  was  a  tract  of  land  extend- 
ing from  Narragansett  Ferry  northward  perhaps  one  mile  and  a 
half  in  length  on  the  bay,  and  about  one  mile  or  more  east  and 
west  from  the  bay  across  to  an  oblong  pond  called  Pettaquams- 
-cutt,  and  was  the  original  seat  of  the  great  sachem  Miantinomo. 
President  Stiles,  in  his  history  of  the  Three  Judges,  speaking  of 
Mr.  Willett,  says  :— "  Colonel  Francis  Willett,  of  North  Kings- 
town, Rhode  Island,  died  and  was  buried  in  the  family  burying 
place  on  his  own  estate,  one  mile  north  of  Narragansett  Ferry, 
February  6th,  1776,  aged  83.  He  was  descended  from  Thomas 
Willett,  the  first  Mayor  of  New  York.  He  died  in  Barrington, 
R.  I.,  in  1674.  Captain  Thomas  Willett  made  his  will  in  Swan- 
sea in  1671.  It  was  proved  August  12th,  1674.  He  gave  his 
Narragansett  lands  to  his  grandchildren,  viz.:  to  Thomas,  son  of 
Martha  Saffin,  a  double  portion ;  to  the  sons  of  his  daughter, 
Mary  Hooker,  a  share  each  ;  and  to  his  daughter,  Esther,  or  any 
children  she  may  have,  a  .share  each.  Captain  Andrew  Willett, 
born  in  Plymouth,  October,  1655,  lived  on  the  family  estate  on 
Boston  Neck  and  is  buried  there.  He  sold  off  to  Rowland  Rob- 
inson three  hundred  acres  of  the  south  part  of  the  estate.  He 
gave  the  Boston  Neck  farm  to  his  sons,  Colonel  Francis  and 
Thomas.  Thomas  died  in  1725,  aged  29  years,  and  by  will  gave 
"his  interest  in  the  farm  to  his  brother  Francis,  and  to  the  heirs 
of  his  body  ;  and  if  he  died  without  issue  then  to  Willett,  son  of 
his  sister  Mary  Carpenter  and  William,  son  of  his  sister  Martha 
Pease.  Colonel  Francis  Willett  married  Mary  Taylor,  but  left 
no  issue,  and  the  whole  of  the  Boston  Neck  estate  fell  to  Francis 
•Carpenter,  his  nephew. 

"  Joseph  Carpenter,  of  Oyster  Bay,  Long  Island,  married — first 
Ann,  1707  ;  and  secondly,  Mary,  1709-10,  both  daughters  of  Cap- 
tain Willett.  Their  son  Francis  inherited  the  estate  under 
his  uncle's  will.  He  married  Esther  Helme.  Their  children 
-were  :  Esther,  Willett,  James,  Francis  and  Mary.  Willett  Carpen- 
ter fell  heir  to  the  home  estate.  He  married  Elizabeth,  the  sister 
.of   Doctor   Benjamin   Case.      Their  children   were :    Reverend 


James  H.  Carpenter  of  the  Episcopal  Church  of  the  Ascension, 
Wakefield ;  Powell  H.  Carpenter,  of  Providence,  and  Benjamin 

"  Tradition  says  that  Francis  Willett  having  but  little  wood- 
land on  the  estate  he  inherited,  and  thinking  he  had  been  de- 
frauded by  a  neighbor  of  whom  he  had  to  purchase  that  needed 
fuel,  decided  to  plant  a  large  open  field  with  acorns,  which  he  ac- 
tually did  and  cultivated  them  with  the  hoe  until  they  attained 
a  size  that  rendered  farther  cultivation  unnecessary." 

A  mile  or  so  south  of  Geoffrey  Hazard's  residence  stood  that 
of  George  Hazard,  the  father  of  Thomas  G.  Hazard.  Thomas  G. 
Hazard  was  a  wealthy  farmer,  and  was  the  first  agriculturist  in 
Rhode  Island  who  used  kelp  or  sea-weed  as  a  fertilizer.  He  was 
the  father  of  the  late  Doctors  Enoch  and  Benjamin  Hazard,  of 
Newport,  styled  the  Daniel  Webster,  of  Rhode  Island. 

Thomas  G.  Hazard  married  the  daughter  of  Jonathan  Easton, 
a  lineal  descendant  of  the  first  Nicholas  Easton,  one  of  the  origi-  ' 
nal  proprietors  of  Aquidneck  island,  who,  with  the  first  Thomas 
Hazard  and  Robert  Jeffries,  laid  out  the  town  of  Newport.  Mr. 
Hazard  was  the  father  of  six  sons,  the  two  above  named,  and 
George  (the  eldest),  Thomas,  Easton  and  John.  John  was  purser 
of  the  frigate  "  General  Greene,"  and  died  at  sea  when  a  young 
man.  All  the  Hazards  were  high-minded  and  did  their  own 
thinking  in  morals,  religion  and  politics. 

The  condition  of  society  in  Washington  county  at  the  close  of 
the  revolution  was  completely  changed  and  by  that  event,  says 
Updike,  "  we  became  another  and  a  new  people."  The  war  had 
left  an  indelible  impress  upon  all  classes.  The  yeomanry  of  the 
land  had  been  made  extremely  poor,  and  the  aristocratic  land- 
holder who  espoused  the  cause  of  the  mother  country,  had  been 
disfranchised  and  his  property  confiscated.  The  law  of  primo- 
geniture had  been  repealed,  slavery  had  been  abolished,  large  es- 
tates had  been  divided  up  into  numberless  farms,  the  acrimony 
of  party  strife  had  dissipated  the  friendly  feelings  and  the  social 
intercourse  of  the  past,  and  the  hospitality  and  refinement  which 
characterized  the  landed  proprietors  before  the  war  had  forever 

Upon  the  adoption  of  the  constitution  some  of  the  towns  op- 
posed it,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  the  citizens  of  this  county- 
were  among  the  earliest  to  act  in  the  cause  of  independence,  and 
were  among  the  more  energetic  in  prosecuting  the  war.     When 


this  vote  was  taken  in  North  Kingstown  one  hundred  and  sixty 
opposed  the  adoption  of  the  constitution  and  two  stood  in 

Anomalous  as  was  this  fact,we  are  hardly  justified  in  charging 
them  with  indifference  or  with  a  want  of  enthusiasm,  as  this  was 
a  new  departure  in  state  craft,  and  the  efficacy  of  that  instrument 
which  was  framed  in  wisdom  and  which  has  ever  been  the  shield 
of  the  rights  of  the  American  citizen,  was  then  an  untried  fact. 
Once  convinced  of  its  practicability  no  people  have  been  more 
ready  to  shield  it  from  danger  than  these  who  once  opposed  it 
upon  the  ground  that  as  a  possibility  it  first  demanded  the  se- 
verest deliberation. 

Quakers. — Quakers  first  made  their  appearance  in  England  in 
1651.  In  1654  emissaries  of  Quakerism  were  dispatched  to  the 
West  Indies ;  and  as  soon  as  their  preachers  appeared  in  Rhode 
Island  they  found  many  of  the  posterity  of  the  first  planters  well 
prepared  for  the  reception  of  their  faith.  At  first,  of  course,  the 
Quakers  of  New  England  had  no  schools  or  regular  clergy,  and 
because  of  their  belief  were  subject  to  much  persecution.  The 
magistrates  of  the  Massachusetts  colonies  hanged  four  of  the  first 
Quaker  preachers,  and  it  was  because  of  these  and  other  severi- 
ties that  many  were  driven  to  Rhode  Island  to  seek  a  safer 

A  little  church  was  built  in  Newport  in  1702,  and  one  in  Nar- 
ragansett  in  1707.  In  1739  there  were  thirty-three  churches  in 
Rhode  Island.  Of  these  twelve  were  Baptist,  ten  were  Quaker, 
six  were  Presbyterian,  five  were  Episcopalian.  Besides  these 
there  were  other  assemblies,  but  unorganized  and  without  houses 
of  worship. 

The  following  letter  from  the  commissioners  of  the  United 
Colonies  to  Rhode  Island,  dated  September  12th,  1657,  and  signed 
Simon  Bradstreet,  president,  Daniel  Denison,  Thomas  Prence, 
John  Mason,  John  Taylcott,  Theopolus  Eaton  and  William  Steele, 
concerning  the  Quakers,  is  significant.  It  certifies:  "  These  com- 
missioners being  informed  that  divers  Quakers  are  arrived  this 
summer  at  Rhode  Island  and  intertained  there  which  may  prove 
dangerous  to  the  colonies,  thought  meet  to  manifest  theire  minds 
to  the  Governor  there  as  followeth."  The  letter  then  speaks  of 
"  a  companie  of  Quakers  arived  at  Boston  vpon  noe  other  account 
than  to  disperse  theire  pernicious  opinions  had  they  not  been 
prevented,"  etc.,  etc.,  and  after  reminding  the  colony  of  Rhode 


Island  "  whereof  wee  cannot  but  bee  very  sensible  and  think  noe 
care  too  great  to  preserve  us  from  such  a  pest,"  requested  them 
"  to  remove  those  Quakers  that  have  been  receaved,  and  for  the 
future  prohibite  their  cominge  amongst  you,  .  .  .  and  further 
declare  that  wee  apprehend  that  it  will  be  our  duty  seriously  to 
consider  what  further  provision  God  may  call  us  to  make  to  pre- 
vent the  aforesaid  mischiefe." 

The  government  of  the  colony  of  Rhode  Island,  however,  con- 
sidering they  had  no  law  to  punish  any  for  only  declaring  by 
words,  etc.,  their  minds  and  understandings  concerning  the  things 
and  ways  of  (rod,  readily  informed  the  commissioners  of  the 
United  Colonies  that,  "  Whereas  freedom  of  different  consciences 
to  be  protected  from  inforcements  was  the  principal  ground  of 
our  charter,"  that  they  could  take  no  ofhcial  notice  of  their  re- 
ligious tenets.  They  were  assured  only  that  in  case  the  "  sayd 
Quakers  which  are  here  or  who  shall  arise  or  come  amongst  us 
doe  refuse  to  subject  themselves  to  all  duties  aforesayed,  as 
trayininge,  watchinge  and  other  such  ingagements,  as  other 
members  of  civill  societies,  etc.,  etc.,  then  we  determine,"  etc., 

While  the  commissioners  of  the  United  Colonies  were  endeav- 
oring to  drive  the  Quakers  from  Rhode  Island  Plymouth  was 
sending  them  there. 

Ministry  Land. — The  ministerial  farm  in  the  Pettaquamscutt 
ptirchase  was  a  tract  of  land  containing  three  hundred  acres  set 
aside  by  the  Pettaquamscutt  purchasers  for  the  use  of  the  minis- 
try. Unfortunately  the  originators  of  this  scheme  for  assisting 
ministers  did  not  designate  which  denomination  it  was  intended 
to  aid,  and  in  consequence  there  followed  a  vast  amount  of  con- 
troversy respecting  the  rights  of  the  various  denominations 

In  view  of  the  difficulties  therein  existing  Reverend  James 
McvSparran  wrote  to  the  "  Society  for  the  Propagation  of  theCrO.s- 
pel  in  Foreign  Parts  "  on  the  subject,  and  to  his  communication 
an  answer  was  received  and  the  dispute  begun. 

The  Petta(^uams(;utt  Purch.vse. — In  1 657  the  chief  .sachems 
of  the  Narragansett  country  sold  to  John  Porter,  Samuel  Wil- 
bore,  Thomas  Mumford,  Samuel  Wilson,  of  Rhode  Island,  and 
John  Hull  (roldsmith,  of  Boston,  Pettaquamscutt  hill  for  sixteen 
pounds.  Next  year  the  sachem  of  Nienticut  (Niantic)  sold  some 
lands  north  of  said  purchase  to  the  same  purchasers.     The  whole 

HISTORY    OF    WASHIX(;T()X    and    KENT   COUNTIES.  67 

purchase  was  about  fifteen  miles  long  and  six  or  seven  wide. 
Afterward  they  associated  Brenton  and  Arnold ;  jointly,  they 
were  called  the  seven  purchasers. 

In  1668  five  of  the  Pettaquamscutt  purchasers  (Porter  being- 
absent)  passed  the  following  order :  "  That  a  tract  of  three  hun- 
dred acres  of  the  best  land,  and  in  a  convenient  place,  be  laid 
out  and  forever  set  apart  as  an  encouragement,  the  income  and 
improvements  wholly  for  an  Orthodox  person,  that  shall  be  ob- 
tained to  preach  God's  word  to  the  inhabitants."  It  would  seem 
no  deed  or  formal  conveyance  was  ever  made.  It  was  surveyed 
out,  plotted,  and  the  words  to  the  ministry  entered  on  the  draft. 

By  the  Rhode  Island  charter  all  professions  of  Christians 
seemed  to  be  deemed  Orthodox.  This  was  enacted  virtually  in 
1663  by  one  of  the  first  acts  of  the  legislature,  which  law  observes 
that  all  men  professing  Christianity,  and  of  competent  estates, 
and  of  civil  conversation  and  obedient  to  the  civil  magistrates, 
though  of  different  judgment  in  religious  affairs,  shall  be  ad- 
mitted freemen,  and  shall  have  liberty  to  choose  and  be  chosen 
officers  in  the  colony,  both  civil  and  military. 

These  ministerial  lands,  not  being  claimed  by  any  orthodox 
minister,  in  1702  Henry  Gardner  entered  upon  twenty  acres  of 
them,  and  James  Bundy  upon  the  remaining  two  hundred  and 
eighty  acres.  "  Most  of  the  grantees,"  says  Updike,  "  have  been 
of  the  Church  of  England,  but  most  of  them  fell  off  into  an  en- 
thusiastic sect,  called  Gortonians,  now  extinct,  and  some  joined 
the  Congregationali.sts  in  other  places,  and  others  proved  to  be 
attached  to  them. 

"  Perhaps  at  that  time  there  were  no  Presbyterians  or  Congre- 
gationalists  in  Rhode  Island,  and  at  this  time  (1750)  it  is  said 
there  are  in  North  and  South  Kingstown  more  people  of  the 
Church  of  England  than  of  the  Presbyterian  and  Congrega- 
tionalist  societies. 

"  In  1702  Mr.  Niles  preached  in  said  district  for  some  time,  but 
never  had  from  Bundy  possession  of  the  two  hundred  and  eighty 
acres.  In  1710  he  left  Kingstown  and  settled  in  Braintree,  in 
Massachusetts  Bay.  In  1719  George  Mumford  bought  of  Bundy 
the  possession  of  the  two  hundred  and  forty  acres.  In  1721  Mr. 
Gardner  delivered  the  twenty  acres  which  he  had  possession  of 
to  the  Church  of  England  incumbent,  Mr.  McSparran,  and  in 
1723  Mr.  McSparran,  upon  a  writ  of  ejectment,  recovered  posses- 
sion against  Mumford   for   the  two  hundred  and  eighty  acres, 


grounded  on  the  confirmation  of  1679  and  the  laying  out  of  1693, 
the  original  grant  of  1668  being  secreted,  was  cast  into  two  trials. 
He  appealed  to  the  king  in  council,  but  the  Society  for  the  Propa- 
gation of  the  Gospel  refusing  to  meddle  with  the  affair,  the  matter 
rested,  and  Mumford  kept  possession. 

"  The  Presbyterian  incumbent  minister,  Mr.  Torrey,  the  first 
incumbent  of  ordination,  brought  an  action  against  Gardner  for 
the  twenty  acres,  and  Mr.  McSparran,  the  Church  of  England 
minister,  brought  an  action  against  Robert  Hazard,  the  tenant  of 

"  In  1732  Torrey  brought  an  action  of  ejectment  against  Mum- 
ford  ;  both  inferior  and  superior  courts  gave  it  for  Mumford  ; 
but  upon  Torrey 's  appeal  to  the  king  in  council  the  verdicts  were 
disallowed,  and  possession  ordered  to  the  incumbent,  Torrey,  in 
1734.  The  members  of  St.  Paul,  Narragansett,  April  7th,  1735, 
addressed  the  Society  for  the  Propagation  of  the  Gospel,  &c., 
for  their  assistance  in  the  advice  and  expense,  but  to  no  pur- 

"In  1735,  by  advice  from  England,  Mr.  Torrey  conveyed  the 
two  hundred  and  eighty  acres  which  he  recovered  of  Mumford 
to  Peter  Coggeshall  and  five  others,  in  fee  and  in  trust  for  him- 
self and  his  successors  in  the  Presbyterian  ministry.  The  trus- 
tees leased  the  same  to  Hazard  for  a  few  years. 

"  In  1737  the  original  deed  of  the  ministerial  land  in  the  Petta- 
quamscutt  purchase,  which  had  been  secreted,  coming  to  light. 
Doctor  McSparran,  in  behalf  of  himself  and  successors  in  St. 
Paul's  church,  by  the  advice  of  his  lawyers.  Captain  Bull  and 
Colonel  Updike,  brought  a  new  writ  of  ejectment  against  Hazard, 
the  occupant  or  tenant  of  the  said  two  hundred  and  eighty  acres, 
and  was  cast  into  the  courts  of  Rhode  Island,  but  allowed  an 
appeal  to  the  king  in  council. 

"  Upon  a  full  trial  before  the  king  in  council  at  Whitehall 
the  judgment  was  rendered. 

"  At  the  Council  Chamber,  Whitehall,  the  7th  of  May,  1752. 

■'  Present. 

"  Their  Excellencies,  the  Lords  Justices. 

"  Arch-Bishop  of  Canterbury,  Duke  of  Argyll. 

"  Lord  Chancellor,  Marquis  of  Harlington. 

"  Lord  Steward,  Earl  of  Holdernesse. 

"  Lord  Anson,  the  Chancellor  of  the  Exchequer. 


"  Lord  President,  Horatio  Walpole. 

"  Earl  of  Cholmondely,  Sir  William  Yonge. 

"  Earl  of  Halifax,  Sir  John  Bushout. 

"  Earl  of  Buckinghamshire,  George  Coddington,  Esq. 

"  Lord  Bathurst,  William  Pitt,  Esq. 

"  Lord  Edgecombe,  Sir  George  Lee." 

Updike  says  :  "  The  decision  of  this  cause  was  a  noble  instance 
in  the  history  of  British  jurisprudence  of  the  triumph  of  princi- 
ple over  the  sectarian  partialities  of  the  judges.  By  the  law  of 
England  none  were  considered  orthodox  but  those  attached  to 
the  established  church,  but  the  King  in  council  adjudged  that 
the  term  Orthodox  legally  applied  to  all  those  who  were  sound 
in  the  doctrines  of  their  own  particular  church  irrespective  of 
Christian  denomination.  The  jury  having  decided  the  fact  that 
the  grantors  were  of  the  Presbyterian  or  Congregational  denom- 
ination, the  King  in  council  determined  that  the  meaning  and  in- 
tention of  the  donors  by  the  term  Orthodox  was  that  the  estate 
given  should  be  appropriated  for  the  support  of  the  ministry  of 
their  own  particular  religious  creed  or  persuasion,  and  this  de- 
cision they  made  notwithstanding  a  presbyter  of  the  church  of 
England  was  the  adverse  party  in  the  suit." 

This  estate  so  long  in  controversy  remained  in  the  possession 
of  the  Presbyterian  or  Congregational  society,  yielding  but  tri- 
fling income,  until  a  few  years  since,  when  it  was  sold.  The  pro- 
ceeds now  constitute  a  fund  of  over  $5,000,  the  yearly  inter- 
est of  which  is  appropriated  to  the  support  of  the  minister  of  the 
Congregational  church  established  at  Kingston. 

Doctor  James  McSparran. — This  able  divine  was  one  of  the 
most  efficient  ever  sent  to  this  state  by  the  Society  for  the  Propa- 
gation of  the  Gospel.  He  was  possessed  with  manly  and  un- 
daunted courage,  and  as  a  Christian  soldier  triumphed  over  all 
difficulties  of  his  laborious  and  untried  mission. 

While  Doctor  McSparran  and  his  wife  were  on  a  visit  to 
England  she  died  June  24th,  1755.  She  fell  a  victim  to  that 
loathsome  disease,  the  small  pox,  while  on  a  visit  in  London,  and 
was  buried  in  Broadway  chapel  burying  yard  in  Westminster. 
Doctor  McSparran  returned  home  in  February,  1756. 

This  bereavement  was  a  sore  affliction  to  Doctor  McSparran. 
His  health  became  seriously  affected  and  his  constitution  began 
to  exhibit  symptoms  of  rapid  decay.  He  was  thus  left  alone  in 
the  world  without  the  consolation  of  a  family  to  support  his  de- 


dining  years.  On  returning  from  a  pastoral  visit  at  Providence 
and  Warwick  he  lodged  with  Lodowick  Updike  at  the  mansion 
of  his  deceased  friend,  Colonel  Daniel  Updike,  in  North  Kings- 
town. Here  he  complained  of  being  indisposed,  but  the  next 
day  he  reached  his  own  home,  which  stood  at  the  foot  of  McvSpar- 
ran  hill,  South  Kingstown,  where  he  was  seized  with  the  quinsy, 
of  which  disease  he  died  in  a  few  days.  Of  the  death,  funeral 
and  interment  of  this  distinguished  divine  the  church  record  con- 
tains the  following  account :  "  On  the  first  day  of  December,  1757, 
the  Rev.  Doctor  James  McSparran  died  at  his  house  in  South 
Kingstown.  He  was  minister  of  vSt.  Paul's  in  Narragansett  for 
the  space  of  thirty-seven  years,  and  was  decently  interred  under 
the  communion  table  in  said  church  on  the  sixth  day  of  said 
month.  He  was  much  lamented  by  his  parishioners  and  all  with 
whom  he  had  an  acquaintance.  A  sermon  was  preached  by  the 
Rev.  Mr.  Pollen,  of  Newport,  from  these  words,  taken  out  of  the 
14th  Chapter  of  Revelations  at  the  part  of  the  13th  Averse. 

"  ''And  I  heard  a  voice  saying  unto  nu\  ivrite  blessed  are  the  dead  that 
die  in  the  Lord.'  " 

"  The  Rev.  Mr.  Usher  performed  the  service  at  the  funeral, 
where  there  were  a  great  number  present. 

"  The  pall  bearers  on  this  occasion  were  as  follows  :  Reverend 
Mr.  Pollen,  Reverend  Mr.  Leaming,  both  of  Newport ;  Reverend 
Mr.  Mathew  Graves,  of  New  London ;  Reverend  John  Graves, 
of  Providence  ;  Ebenezer  Brenton  and  John  Case,  wardens." 


The  Erection  of  the  King's  Province.— Joseph  Dudley's  Proclamation.— Names 
Given  to  the  Different  Towns.— The  Erection  of  Kings  County  .—The  Act  of 
the  Assembly  Changing  Kings  to  Washington  County.- The  Court  House 
and  County  Jail.— Execution  of  Thomas  Carter.— Daniel  Harry,  the  Indian 
Convict.— The  Great  September  Gale— The  Beginning  of  the  Present  Cen- 
tury.—Ship  Building.— Social  Indulgences.— Washington  Clounty  Agricul- 
tural Society.— Public  Schools.— Newspapers. 

IN  1664  the  king  appointed  Colonel  Robert  Nichols,  Sir  Robert 
Carr,  George  Cartwright  and  Samuel  Maverick  (Nichols  to 
be  always  one  during  his  life)  commissioners  to  reduce  the 
Dutch  and  settle  all  differences  among  the  colonies.  They  were 
courteously  received  in  their  progress  through  the  colonies,  and 
were  attended  by  John  Pynchon  and  Thomas  Clark  on  the  part  of 
Massachusetts,  and  Thomas  Willett  from  Plymouth.  The  officers 
of  Connecticut  and  Governor  Winthrop  also  attended  them.  In 
Nichols'  absence  the  other  three  took  the  government  of  Narra- 
gansett  from  both  the  colonies  claiming  it,  and  made  it  a  sepa- 
rate province  by  the  name  of  King's  Province.  Fourteen  justices 
appointed  by  them  continued  in  office  from  March  20th,  1664,  to 
May  3d,  1666.  After  that  they  appointed  the  governor  and  assis- 
tants of  Rhode  Island  to  be  cx-officio  magistrates  of  the  King's 
Province.  They  declared  all  the  Massachusetts  and  Connecticut 
grant  at  Westerly  void  and  passed  an  order  about  Atherton's 

Early  in  1686  Joseph  Dudley,  who  the  year  before  had  been 
appointed  president  of  Maine,  New  Hampshire,  Massachusetts 
and  Narragansett,  with  a  council  to  aid  him,  assumed  the  govern- 
ment. On  May  28th  he  issued  a  proclamation  declaring  Narra- 
gansett to  be  a  separate  government.  He  established  courts  and 
appointed  officers  there  and  the  people  quietly  submitted  to  him. 
On  the  23d  of  June,  he,  with  his  council,  held  a  court  at  Smith's 
house,  where  John  Fones  was  sworn  clerk  and  new  names  given 


to  the  different  towns,  viz.:  Kingstown  to  be   called  Rochester  ; 
Westerly,  Haversham  ;  Greenwich,  Bedford. 

June  14th,  1687,  at  the  quarter  sessions  held  for  Rhode  Island, 
Narragansett  and  Providence  Plantations,  the  following  justices 
were  present :  Francis  Brinley,  chairman  ;  Colonel  PelegSanford, 
Major  Richard  Smith,  Captain  John  Fones,  John  Coggeshall, 
Caleb  Carr,  Sen.,  Simon  Ray,  Captain  Arthur  Fanner  and  Cap- 
tain James  Pendleton.  They  appointed  John  Maxon  and  John 
Fairfield  overseers  of  the  poor  for  Haversham,  and  John  Reinalds 
and  Samuel  Albro  for  Rochester. 

In  December  of  this  year  the  sessions  appointed  Messrs.  Brinley, 
Sanford  and  Fones  to  contract  to  build  a  court  house  in  Newport 
and  one  in  Rochester,  alias  Kingstown.  They  levied  a  tax  of 
;£'170,  viz.:  Newport,  ;£'38 ;  Portsmouth,  £'i\;  Providence,  £'iM ; 
Warwick,  £\^  ;  Bedford,  ;^3  ;  Rochester,  £1%  ;  Haversham,  £\K)\ 
New  Shoreham,  £\\ ;  Jamestown,  £\i).  It  was  to  be  paid  in 
money,  or  sheep's  wool  at  7^d.  per  pound,  spring  butter  at  4W. 
per  pound,  Indian  corn  at  2()d.  per  bushel,  rye  at  2s.  fid.  per 
bushel,  or  port  at  42s.  per  barrel. 

In  March,  1688,  William  Palmer  was  fined  by  the  quarter  ses- 
sions for  planting  a  peach  tree  on  Sunday. 

June  24th,  1696,  Judge  Sewall  deeded  the  east  part  of  Lot  No.  4 
in  the  northwest  part  of  Pettaquamscutt  purchase  to  Harvard 

During  the  year  1698,  the  boundary  question  was  drawing  to  a 
close.  Connecticut,  having  received  a  letter  from  the  lords  of 
trade  and  the  plantations,  advising  them  to  settle  with  Rhode 
Island,  appointed  a  committee  for  that  purpose  August,  1698, 
and  October,  1699 ;  and  Connecticut  in  October,  1702,  appointed 
another  committee  to  settle  the  jurisdiction  line,  and  on  May 
12th,  1703,  the  committees  agreed  on  Pawcatuck  as  the  boundary, 
confirming,  however,  all  grants  of  Connecticut  in  Westerly. 
Respecting  these  Connecticut  grants  there  seems  to  have  been 
some  trouble,  and  the  cause  was  referred  to  England  and  de- 
cided by  the  king  in  council  in  1726,  establishing  the  present 

In  June,  1703,  the  assembly  divided  Rhode  Island  into  two 
counties,  Rhode  Island  and  Providence  Plantations.  In  the  latter 
the  courts  were  to  sit  by  turns  at  Providence,  Warwick,  Kings- 
town  and  Westerly.     The  "  General  Court  of  Tryals  "  still  con- 


tinued,  as  formerly,  to  be  composed  of  the  governor  and  assistants 
and  to  sit  only  in  Newport. 

The  general  assembly  at  Newport  on  the  3d  Monday  in  June, 
1729,  passed  "  An  Act  for  the  Dividing  the  Colony  of  Rhode  Is- 
land and  Providence  Plantations  into  three  counties,  and  ascer- 
taining the  Bounds  and  Limits  of  each  said  Counties." 

"  Whereas  the  Number  of  Inhabitants  in  this  Colony  is  mucli  in- 
creased and  the  Bounds  thereof  arc  so  extensive  that  that  part  thereof 
called  the  Mam-Land  especially  the  more  remote  Inhabitants  are  put  to 
Great  Trouble  and  Difficulty  in  prosecuting  their  Affairs  in  the  Conmton 
course  of  Justice  as  the  Courts  are  now  established.  Therefore,  Be  it 
enacted  by  the  General  Assembly  of  this  Colony,  and  by  the  Authority 
of  the  same.  That  this  Colony  shall  be  divided  into  three  distinct 
and  separate  Counties  (whereof  the  whole  Colony  shall  consist) 
in  the  following  manner :  The  towns  of  Newport,  Portsmouth, 
James  Town,  New  Shoreham,  and  the  rest  of  the  Islands  adja- 
cent, heretofore  within  the  Jurisdiction  of  either  of  said  to;wns 
shall  be  constituted  and  hereby  made  one  County,  and  shall  be 
known  by  the  name  of  the  County  of  Newport ;  and  Newport 
shall  be  the  County  Town. 

"  The  Towns  of  Providence,  Warwick  and  East  Greenwich, 
and  all  such  places  within  Jurisdiction  of  said  Towns  shall  be 
constituted  and  hereby  made  one  other  County,  and  shall  be 
known  by  the  name  of  the  County  of  Providence  ;  and  the  Town 
of  Providence  shall  be  the  County  Town. 

"  The  Towns  of  South  Kingstown,  North  Kingstown  and 
Westerly,  and  all  places  within  the  Bounds  of  either  of  said 
Towns  shall  be  constituted  and  are  hereby  made  one  other 
County,  and  shall  be  known  by  the  name  of  Kings  County,  and 
South  Kingstown  shall  be  the  County  Town." 

The  general  assembly  passed  an  act  October  29th,  1781,  alter- 
ing and  changing  the  name  and  style  of  the  county  heretofore 
called  Kings  county  in  this  state  into  the  name  and  style  of 

"  Whereas,  Since  the  Declaration  of  the  Independence  of  the 
United  States  of  America  it  becomes  the  Wisdom  of  the  rising 
Republic  to  obliterate  as  far  as  may  be  every  Trace  and  Idea  of 
that  Government  which  threatened  our  Destruction. 

"  Be  it  therefore  enacted  by  this  General  Assembly  and  by  the 
Authority  thereof  it  is  hereby  enacted  That  the  name  of  Kings 
County,  by  which  the  .Southernmost  County  in  this  State  was  here- 


tofore  distinguished  shall  forever  hereafter  cease ;  and  that  in 
perpetual  and  grateful  Remembrance  of  the  eminent  and  most 
distinguished  services  and  heroic  actions  of  the  illustrious  Com- 
mander-in-Chief of  the  Forces  of  the  United  States  of  America, 
the  said  Count}'  shall  forever  hereafter  be  known  and  called  in 
all  Legislative  Acts,  legal  proceedings,  conveyances,  etc.,  by  the 
name  and  style  of  Washington." 

In  area  the  county  is  thirty-one  and  five  tenths  per  cent,  of  that 
of  the  entire  state,  and  its  population  is  seven  and  four  tenths  per 
cent.  Its  population  in  1708  was  1,770:  in  1730,  ."),. '554 ;  in  1790, 
18,075;  in  1800,  16,135;  in  1885,  22,444. 

A  great  change  has  come  over  the  country.  Instead  of  iin  al- 
most unbroken  wilderness,  with  here  and  there  an  Indian  trail, 
we  now  find  roads,  cultivated  fields  and  farms,  on  which  are 
flocks,  herds,  orchards,  poultry  yards  and  varioiis  means  of  com- 
fort and  luxury.  Among  the  more  interesting  places  aside  from 
picturesque  forests,  hills,  springs,  rocks  and  swamps,  are  Indian 
burial  grounds,  the  site  of  Richard  Smith's  block  house  and 
Roger  Williams'  trading  house,  the  "  Devil's  Foot  Prints,"  "  Ptir- 
gatory,"  "  Wolf  Rocks,"  etc. 

Court  House  and  Jail. — At  the  June  session  of  the  general  as- 
sembly held  at  Newport  in  1733  an  act  accepting  the  account  for 
building  the  county  house  in  Kings  county  was  passed  as  follows  : 

"  Be  it  enacted  by  the  General  Assembly,  that  the  acc't  delivered 
by  Rouse  Helme,  amounting  to  ;^791,2s.3d.  be  hereby  allowed 
and  that  the  sum  of  ;£'270,19s.3d.  be  paid  out  of  the  public  treas- 
ury, the  same  being  the  full  balance  of  the  account." 

The  site  of  the  court  house  was  changed  from  Tower  Hill  to 
Little  Rest  Hill,  both  in  the  town  of  South  Kingstown,  in  1752. 
The  three  towns  of  Westerly,  Charlestown  and  Exeter  appear  to 
have  voted  almost  unanimously  for  the  change,  while  in  South 
Kingstown  51  voted  for  it  and  21  against  it.  From  the  old 
records  in  the  state  library  at  Providence  we  copy  the  following : 

■'  Little  Rest  Hill  ts.  Tower  Hill. 

"To  the  Honorable  General  Assembly  to  sit  at  South  Kings- 
town by  Adjournment,  in  and  for  the  Colony  of  Rhode  Island, 
etc.,  the  last  Tuesday  in  February  in  1752. 

"  The  humble  petition  of  divers  persons,  inhabitants  of  the 
Town  of  South  Kingstown,  and  other  towns  in  the  County  of 
Kings  County,  Humbly  show  : 

"  That  we  having  a  long  time  taken  notice  of  labored  under 


the  many  inconveniences  that  attend  the  situation  of  the  Court 
House  on  Tower  Hill,  being  in  a  very  remote  corner  of  the 
county,  that  the  said  house  and  jail  are  out  of  repair ;  that  it  will 
take  a  good  deal  of  money  to  put  them  in  tolerable  repair,  but 
never  can  be  made  good  for  they  were  miserably  built  at  first ; 
that  they  will  always  be  wanting  repairs ;  and  this  colony  will  be 
at  continual  charge  to  keep  them  fit  for  use,  and  that  there  is  no 
likelihood  of  any  end  to  the  charge  and  expense  thereof,  except 
by  pulling  them  down ;  and  the  Court  House  is  so  bad  that  we 
are  ashamed  your  Honors  should  so  endanger  your  lives  as  to  sit 
in  it  this  time  of  the  year,  when  a  hard  storm  would  almost  blow 
it  down." 

The  petitioners  further  stated:  "That  Col.  Elisha  Reynolds 
will  give  a  Deed  to  this  Colony  of  a  piece  of  land  of  a  convenient 
bigness  for  a  Court  House  there,  and  Mr.  Robert  Potter  of  South 
Kingstown  will  give  a  Deed  of  land  commodious  for  a  Jail  House 
and  Yard,  etc.,  and  that  there  is  a  great  number  of  people  to- 
gether with  the  said  Col.  Reynolds  have  subscribed  and  many 
more  will  subscribe  to  build  a  handsome  Court  House  and  Jail  on 
said  Little  Rest  Hill,"  etc. 

In  3774  William  Potter  was  appointed  to  procure  a  new  court 
house  and  was  permitted  to  draw  out  of  the  general  treasury 
;^300  lawful  money  toward  carrying  on  the  said  building.  In 
1775  Mr.  Potter  drew  out  ;£'270,8s.7d.  more  for  the  same  purpose ; 
in  1776  ;£'800  again,  and  had  the  glazing,  painting  and  finishing 
done.  At  the  October  session  held  at  South  Kingstown  the  old 
court  house  was  up  for  sale  by  order  of  the  general  assembly 
then  holding  their  session  at  that  place.  The  building  was  to  be 
sold  by  the  sheriff  at  public  vendue  on  the  second  day  of  Novem- 
ber at  two  o'clock.  It  was  again  advertised  on  the  9th  of  June 
next,  and  again  at  the  August  session,  again  on  the  22d  of  Sep- 
tember, and  again  at  the  October  session.  It  was  finally  sold 
September  24th,  1777,  at  public  vendue  to  Silas  Niles  for  $260. 

A  county  jail  was  first  built  on  Kingston  hill  in  1730.  The 
general  assembly  ordered  it  to  be  near  Robert  Case's  dwelling 
house  in  South  Kingstown.  This  jail  had  its  cells  in  the  lower 
part  of  the  building  and  the  upper  part  was  devoted  to  the  use  of 
the  jailor.  The  cells  were  constructed  of  solid  masonry.  The 
part  above  was  made  of  wood. 

In  the  year  1790  John  Gardiner,  Samuel  J.  Potter  and  Rowland 
Brown,  of  South  Kingstown,  having  been  appointed  by  the  gen- 


eral  assembly  to  build  a  jail  in  Washington  county,  contracted 
with  Colonel  Thomas  Potter  for  a  lot  on  the  south  side  of  the 
road  opposite  the  old  jail.  The  committee  were  instructed  to 
build  this  jail  40  by  32  feet  and  to  contain  two  stories.  They 
were  instructed  "  to  procure  the  necessary  materials  and  to  cop- 
tract  for  the  work  upon  the  best  terms  they  can,"  and  for  this 
purpose  were  empowered  to  draw  out  of  the  general  treasury  the 
sum  of  i;2,100  in  the  bills  of  credit  emitted  by  the  state. 

The  first  jail  built  in  the  village  of  Kingston  was  subsequently 
used  as  a  hat  factory  by  Cyrus  French.  It  now  forms  the  west 
end  of  the  residence  of  Mrs.  William  W.  French.  The  second 
jail  was  built  of  wood.  The  present  jail  is  the  third  building, 
and  stands  on  the  site  formerly  occupied  by  the  second  jail 

On  October  3d,  1770,  the  jail  was  broken  open  at  night  by  per- 
sons in  disguise  and  the  prisoners,  the  greater  part  of  them 
counterfeiters,  of  whom  one  named  Casey  was  under  sentence 
of  death,  made  their  escape  upon  horses  provided  by  their 

Execution  of  Thomas  Carter. — The  first  execution  occurred 
when  George  the  Second  was  king.  At  this  time  Thomas  Carter, 
a  native  of  Newport,  was  hung  in  chains  May  10th,  1751.  The 
three  justices  were  Jonathan  Randall,  John  Walton  and  B.  Has- 
sard.  The  hangman's  bill  (.^50)  was  paid  to  Beriah  Brown,  sheriff, 
for  executing  the  prisoner.  The  second  execution  took  place  a 
short  distance  west  of  Kingston  hill,  in  the  road,  four  or  five  rods 
west  of  a  large  chestnut  tree.  The  tree  was  cut  down  in  1877. 
Mr.  Thomas  Mount  was  the  victim.  He  was  buried  a  few  rods 
west  of  that  place  at  the  foot  of  a  large  cherry  tree  which  blew 
down  in  1869.     Two  rude  stones  mark  the  grave. 

Mr.  J.  Wilson  thus  speaks  of  Thomas  Carter :  "  In  the  year  1751 
Thomas  Carter  had  his  trial  for  the  murder  of  Jackson,  and  was 
sentenced  to  be  hung  in  gibbets ;  which  took  place  on  the  train- 
ing lot  at  the  foot  of  Tower  Hill  near  the  Pettaquamscutt  river. 
The  body  of  Carter  swung  there  many  years  by  the  winds  ;  but 
finally  the  gallows  rotted  down,  and  the  irons,  with  the  bones 
attached  to  them,  were  carried  to  the  blacksmith  shop  of  Joseph 
Hull,  the  man  who  made  the  irons,  and  they  were  removed  from 
the  bones.  One  of  the  scholars  who  attended  the  school  of  Master 
Ridge  kept  one  of  the  bones  under  his  seat  in  the  school  house 
to  crack  walnuts  with.     Jackson  was  not  a  dealer  in  furs  as  has 


been  sometimes  stated.  He  sold  buckskin  leather,  and  carried  it 
on  horseback  behind  him.  He  belonged  to  Pennsylvania,  and 
in  his  peregrinations  about  the  country  had  been  in  the  habit  of 
passing  this  place  for  several  years  in  the  latter  part  of  autumn 
on  his  way  to  and  from  Newport.  The  leather  was  made  up  into 
overalls,  which  were  worn  by  many  of  the  inhabitants,  more  es- 
pecially when  they  were  engaged  in  wall  making ;  it  was  also 
made  into  mittens. 

"  Carter  was  a  seafaring  man,  and  overtook  Jackson  on  his  way 
and  pretended  to  be  sick ;  Jackson  sympathized  with  him  on  ac- 
count of  his  unfortunate  condition,  rendered  him  assistance,  and 
suffered  him  to  ride  his  horse  most  of  the  way,  whilst  he  himself 
traveled  on  foot.  Many  times  Carter  pretended  to  be  very  sick 
in  order  to  delay  the  time  of  their  arrival,  and  they  stopped  many 
times  on  their  way.  They  stopped  at  a  Mrs.  Combs',  who  was  called 
upon  at  the  trial.  This  woman  was  the  first  who  recognized  Jack- 
son when  he  was  found,  by  a  button  that  she  had  noticed  on  his 
vest  and  by  a  gray  spot  on  his  head." 

In  this  connection  another  writer,  speaking  of  one  place  where 
they  stopped  for  the  night,  says:  "The  widow  Nash  lived 
in  a  house  on  the  east  side  of  the  old  Post  road,  about  one  mile 
from  Dockray's  corner.  Sometime  during  the  winter  of  1751, 
two  travelers  stopped  late  in  the  afternoon  at  the  house.  That 
night  Mrs.  Nash  had  the  kindness  to  dress  their  hair,  and  play- 
fully remarked  to  the  smaller  of  the  two,  whilst  so  engaged,  that 
if  he  was  murdered  she  could  identify  his  person  by  a  round 
block  of  his  hair  that  marked  his  head. 

"  About  sunset  the  two  men  proceeded  on  their  way,  being  de- 
sirous of  reaching  Franklin  Ferry  and  passing  over  to  Newport 
that  night.  The  smaller  of  the  two  men  before  mentioned,  whose 
name  was  Jackson,  had  started  from  Virginia  with  a  horse  load 
of  deer  skins  which  he  intended  to  convey  to  Boston,  and  he  was 
joined  on  the  way  by  Captain  Thomas  Carter,  an  old  privateers- 
man  of  Newport,  Rhode  Island,  who  had  been  shipwrecked 
somewhere  on  the  sea-coast  south  of  Chesapeake,  and  was  mak- 
ing his  way  home  on  foot.  After  these  two  men  left  the  house 
of  Mrs.  Nash,  it  appears  they  passed  over  the  southern  portion 
of  Tower  hill  in  the  evening,  at  which  place  and  time  Carter 
knocked  Jackson  from  his  horse  by  hitting  him  with  a  stone. 
Jackson,  however,  recovered  himself  and  ran  to  an  old  uninhab- 
ited house  near  by  which  was  the  only  semblance  of  a  habitation 


within  a  mile  and  more  of  the  spot,  where  he  was  pursued  and 
beaten  to  death  by  Carter.  After  the  murder  Carter  then  pro- 
ceeded on  his  way  with  Jackson's  horse  and  pack,  having  pre- 
viously dragged  his  victim  down  the  hill  to  an  estuary  called 
Pettaquamscutt  cove  and  shoved  the  corpse  under  the  ice.  A  few 
days  after  this  transaction,  a  man  while  spearing  for  eels  fished 
up  the  body,  which  was  afterward  identified  by  Mrs.  Nash  as  the 
stranger  with  the  black  spot  on  his  head  and  to  whom  she  had 
spoken  so  ominously  before. 

"  The  place  where  Jackson  was  knocked  down  by  Carter  is 
still  marked  by  a  .stone  at  the  base  of  the  road  wall  directly  west 
of  the  exact  spot,  with  the  figures  1741  engraved  upon  it.  This 
stone,  near  the  junction  of  the  road  and  the  north  line  of  the 
lot,  is  where  the  ruins  of  the  old  Carter  and  Jackson  chimney 
stood.  Nicholas  Austin  subsequently  erected  a  house  on  this 
very- same  site." 

The  following  is  a  copy  of  the  wi'it  issued  in  the  year  1751 ,  for 
the  execution  of  Thomas  Carter : 

"  Rhode  Island,  Kings  County,  Sc. 

'■  George  the  Second,  by  the  Grace  of  God  King  of  Great 
Britain,  F'rance  and  Ireland,  Defender  of  the  Faith,  etc.  To  Our 
Sheriff  of  our  County  of  Kings  County,  or  to  his  Deputy : 
Cireeting : 

"  Whereas,  at  our  superior  court  of  Judicature  Court  of  Assize 
and  General  Jail  Delivery  ;  Began  and  held  at  South  Kingstown 
in  and  for  our  County  of  Kings  County,  on  the  first  Tuesday  of 
April,  in  the  twenty-fourth  year  of  our  reign,  A.  D.  1751, 
Thomas  Carter  late  of  Newport  in  our  County  of  Newport  mar- 
riner ;  was  legally  convicted  of  murdering  William  Jackson  late 
of  Virginia,  Trader  ;  and  was  also  convicted  of  robbing  the  said 
William  Jackson  and  feloniously  taking  and  carrying  away  from 
him  his  money  to  the  value  of  one  thousand  and  eighty  pounds 
of  the  old  tenor,  and, 

"  ir/trrras,  Our  aforesaid  Coart  held  as  aforesaid  Did  Pass  and 
pronounce  wSentence  against  the  Said  Thomas  Carter  in  the  words 
following,  viz. :  You  Thomas.  Carter  being  legallv  convicted  of 
murdering  William  Jackson  late  of  Virginia,  trader,  and  also 
convicted  of  robbing  him  of  a  horse,  leather  and  monev  to  the 
value  of  ii'lOSO,  O.  T.,  wherefore  tis  the  Sentence  of  this  Coart  that 
you  be  carried  to  the  jail  from  whence  you  came  and  closely 
confined  till  Friday  the  lOth  of  May,  A.  I).,  1751,  and  then   be 


■drawn  to  the  place  of  execution  and  there  Between  the  hours  of 
Eleven  o'clock  forenoon,  and  two  in  the  afternoon  to  be  hung  by 
the  Neck  till  you  are  Dead  and  then  your  body  to  be  cut  down 
and  Hanged  in  Chains  near  the  place  of  Execution  till  consumed, 
of  which  Execution  Remains  to  be  done, 

"  AVe  therefore  strictly  Charge  and  Command  you  to  Prepare 
and  Provide  a  Suitable  Gallows  to  be  erected  in  South  Kings- 
town in  or  near  the  place  called  the  Training  Field  and  in  some 
Convenient  Time  before  the  day  of  Execution  appointed  in  the 
above  Said  Sentence  being  the  Tenth  Day  of  May,  A.D.,  1751 ; 
and  also  to  provide  suitable  and  proper  materials  in  order  to 
hang  the  body  of  aforesaid  Criminal  in  Chains  according  to  the 
aforesaid  Sentence  and  on  the  aforesaid  Tenth  Day  of  May  You 
are  hereby  Commanded  to  take  proper  and  sufficient  aid,  and 
then  You  are  to  Proceed  and  Execute  Said  Sentence  at  the  time 
therein  appointed  for  the  Same  to  be  Done,  And  for  so  doing 
This  Shall  be  your  Sufficient  Warrant. 

"Given  under  the  Hands  and  Seals  of  three  Justices  of  said 
Coart  at  South  Kingstown  aforesaid  the  vSixth  Day  of  April,  in 
the  Twenty-fourth  year  of  our  Reign,  A.D.,  1751. 

"Jonathan  Randai.i,, 
"John  Walton, 
"  B.  Hazard." 

Trial  of  Daniel  Harry. — Daniel  Harry,  a  Narragansett  In- 
dian, was  tried  for  the  murder  of  Toby  Ross's  son.  Toby  Ross 
at  that  time  was  by  far  the  most  influential  man  in  the  tribe. 
Ross  was  killed  in  the  evening  at  an  Indian  dance.  This  was  in 
1839.  Albert  C.  Greene  was  then  the  attorney  general  of  the 
state.  Wilkins  Updike  and  the  late  Nathaniel  F.  Dixon  were  the 
counsel  for  the  prisoner.  Job  Durfee  was  the  chief  justice  who 
presided  at  the  trial,  Levi  Haile  and  William  P.  Staples 
were  the  associate  justices,  Powell  Helm  was  the  clerk,  and 
Francis  B.  Segar  was  the  sheriff.  The  jurors  were  as  follows : 
John  P.  Whitford,  William  B.  Robinson,  Robert  Gardiner,  Jr., 
Albert  W.  Clarke,  W^illiam  Steadman,  Joseph  P.  Babcock,  Niles 
Potter,  Elisha  Watson,  Jr.,  Samuel  Underwood,  Daniel  Sherman, 
James  Greene  and  Alfred  Bicknell. 

The  court  was  two  days  in  getting  the  jury.  There  were  over 
eighty  jurors  called  before  a  panel  was  obtained.  The  proof  ad- 
duced was  that  Ross  had  alienated  the  affections  of  Harry's 
-wife  and  during  this  drunken  frolic  in  the  night,  the  lights  were 


blown  out  and  Ross  was  stabbed  and  killed.  It  was  well  under- 
stood also  by  the  counsel  that  there  was  a  white  man  in  Charles- 
town  who  had  a  great  enmity  against  Ross,  and  wanted  to  get 
him  out  of  the  way,  and  it  was  believed  he  had  incited  either 
Harry  or  another  Indian  to  commit  the  deed.  After  a  protracted 
trial  the  jury  returned  a  verdict  of  guilty. 

Harry  had  not  a  relative  or  friend  near  him  during  the  whole 
trial.  He  was  a  pure  Indian  and  a  fine  specimen  of  his  race.  He 
sat  calm  and  unmoved  as  a  statue  from  the  beginning  to  the  end 
of  the  trial,  and  when  he  was  brought  into  the  court  room  to  hear 
the  verdict  of  the  jury  and  listen  to  the  death  sentence  from  the 
court,  he  did  not  exhibit  the  slightest  evidence  of  emotion. 

The  court  was  lighted  and  filled  with  people,  when  he  was  or- 
dered to  stand  up  and  receive  his  sentence.  Judge  Staples,  who 
was  a  true  Quaker  in  his  religious  beliefs,  retired  from  the  bench 
and  when  Judge  Durfee  delivered  the  sentence,  he  utterly  broke 
down,  the  tears  coursing  down  his  cheeks  ;  but  the  little  friend- 
less Indian  stood  there  calm  and  unmoved.  When  the  sheriff 
took  him  from  the  court  house  to  the  jail  Mr.  Hazard,  who  assist- 
ed the  attorney  general  in  the  case,  walked  beside  him.  He  said, 
"  As  we  walked  along  Mr.  Harry  looked  up  at  the  moon  and  re- 
marked :  '  The  moon  looks  pleasant,  I  haven't  seen  it  before  since 
I  was  put  in  jail.'  " 

He  was  of  course  sentenced  to  be  hanged,  but  the  court  merci- 
fully gave  time  enough  for  an  application  to  be  made  to  the  gen- 
eral assembly  for  pardon  or  a  change  of  sentence,  and  when  the 
legislature  met,  Mr.  Dixon  presented  a  petition  for  a  change  of 
sentence,  in  the  prosecution  of  which  Mr.  Hazard  aided  him  all 
he  could,  being  at  that  tinie  clerk  of  the  House  of  Representa- 
tives. The  result  was  that  his  sentence  was  commuted  to  solitary 
imprisonment  for  life. 

After  he  had  spent  ten  years  in  one  of  those  little  cells  in  the 
old  state  prison,  Mr.  Dixon  and  Mr.  Hazard  petitioned  for  a  full 
pardon.  It  was  granted  and  for  the  next  succeeding  thirty-five 
years  he  lived  with  his  family  in  South  Kingstown,  .-m  honest, 
respectable  and  well-behaved  man.  It  was  not  at  the  time  of  the 
trial  believed  he  committed  the  murder,  and  this  fact  was  sub- 
stantiated before  his  death ;  and  in  view  of  his  approaching  dis- 
.solution  he  said  he  did  not  do  it  but  that  he  knew  who  com- 
mitted the  deed,  and  Indian  like  he  would  not  give  his  name. 
He  would  not  betra)'  him  to  save  his  own  life. 


September  Gale  of  1815.— On  the  23d  day  of  September,  1815, 
a  most  terrific  storm,  accompanied  with  thunder  and  lightning, 
visited  the  coast  of  New  England  and  spread  desolation  and  dis- 
may in  every  direction.  In  a  southeasterly  direction  from  South 
Kingstown,  a  confused  mass  of  bright  copper-colored  clouds  was 
seen,  which  dazzled  the  sight  almost  as  much  as  the  sun  would, 
shining  with  its  full  effulgence.  A  mass  of  clouds  arose  from 
the  horizon  and  after  assuming  the  arch-like  proportions  of  the 
rainbow,  was  driven  with  frightful  rapidity  toward  the  zenith, 
whilst  upon  either  side  were  broken  clouds  that  kept  up  a  kind 
of  vibrating  and  trembling  motion  that  it  is  difficult  to  describe. 

It  was  generally  supposed  that  the  storm  was  caused  by  a  sub- 
marine volcanic  eruption.  This  opinion  was  somewhat  con- 
firmed by  the  statement  of  the  captain  and  crew  of  a  vessel  on 
her  way  from  the  Bermudas  to  Boston,  who  positively  stated 
that,  when  about  one  hundred  miles  distant  from  Point  Judith  in 
a  southeasterly  direction,  they  saw  a  dense  smoke  arise  from  the 
ocean  some  miles  in-shore,  followed  by  a  blaze  and  fire  which  ap- 
peared to  extend  over  a  space  of  a  quarter  of  a  mile.  A  violent 
southeast  wind  arose  and  continued  to  increase  until  it  became  a 
frightful  hurricane.  It  was  different  from  any  gale  ever  before 
witnessed.  The  wind  would  blow  in  one  direction  for  fifteen  or 
twenty  minutes  and  then  it  would  lull  for  a  moment  and  again 
resume  its  former  direction  with  increased  velocity.  All  build- 
ings that  had  not  substantial  frames  were  blown  down  and  the 
materials  scattered  in  every  direction ;  many  others  were  un- 
roofed, and  the  tunnels  of  the  chimneys  were  swept  away.  Trees 
of  all  descriptions  were  either  broken  down  or  uprooted,  and 
even  the  white  oak,  which  is  called  the  "monarch  of  the  forest," 
was  prostrated  to  the  ground.  Fences,  and  in  some  cases  stone 
walls,  were  no  protection  to  corn  fields,  for  they  were  blown 
down  and  the  cattle  had  free  range  after  they  had  got  over  their 
fright.  Stacks  of  fodder  were  blown  over  and  the  contents  scat- 
tered all  over  the  meadows.  The  spray  was  driven  twenty  miles 
from  the  sea,  and  was  recognized  by  the  fruit  which  had  a  salt 
taste.  The  waves  of  the  sea  rose  to  a  frightful  height,  and 
broke  over  Little  Neck  Beach  and  washed  the  sand  hills  in  every 
direction.  Before  the  gale  a  range  of  sand  hills  extended  nearly 
the  whole  length  of  the  beach,  with  intervening  spaces  which 
were  partly  covered  with  a  rank  growth  of  beach  grass  and  a  few 
scattering  bunches  of  bayberry  bushes,  which  afforded  shelter 


for  many  small  birds  who  deposited  their  eggs  there  during  the 
summer  season  and  reared  their  young  birds.  The  middle 
bridge  over  the  Pettaquamscutt  river  was  swept  away,  as  the  water 
extended  from  the  foot  of  the  hill  on  the  Dyer  farm  to  a  consid- 
erable distance  up  the  pasturage,  beyond  the  first  wall  east  of  the 
bridge.  Two  families  occupied  a  house  which  stood  at  the  north- 
eastern extremity  of  Little  Neck  Beach,  and  some  members  of 
each  family  were  drowned,  for  the  house  was  swept  away  by  the 
flood.  James  Phillips,  the  father  of  one  of  the  families  (a  white 
man),  after  the  water  had  ascended  some  feet  above  the  floor, 
laid  hold  on  a  chest  and  floated  a  mile  up  the  river  and  cove  and 
landed  alive  on  the  Hannah  Hill  meadow.  Jesse  Weeden  (a  col- 
ored man)  was  last  seen  alive  on  the  top  of  the  house  hanging  to 
the  chimney,  but  was  at  length  carried  away  and  found  dead 
upon  the  farm  of  Mr.  Nichols.  William  Short,  a  lad  ten  years  of 
age,  was  found  on  the  Samuel  Helm  lot  adjoining  the  homestead 
of  Stephen  Caswell,  and  two  colored  children  were  also  found 
there.  These  three  children  were  buried  in  the  evening  in  the 
orchard  of  the  Dyer  farm,  then  owned  by  John  J.  Watson. 

Captain  John  A.  Saunders  was  building  his  first  vessel  on  the 
training  lot  (as  it  was  called)  at  this  time,  but  she  was  not  carried 
away,  for  he  had  blocked  her  up  very  high  in  order  to  square  her 
bottom  ;  but  his  temporary  workshop  was  thrown  down  and  tools 
scattered  all  around.  The  water  rose  very  high  at  New  York 
and  at  all  the  intervening  places  between  there  and  Boston.  The 
most  furious  work  of  the  hurricane  was  on  the  coast  between 
Cape  Cod  and  New  London.  Several  vessels  were  wrecked  and 
quite  a  number  of  seamen  were  drowned.  When  the  storm  com- 
menced six  men  on  Point  Judith,  whose  names  were  William 
Knowles  and  his  son  William,  Joseph  Hawkins,  Jabez  Allen  and 
two  colored  boys  named  Joseph  and  Peter  Case,  went  to  the 
beach  to  secure  a  boat,  but  becoming  frightened  by  an  enormous 
wave  (which  was  thought  to  be  forty  feet  high  when  it  broke  by 
those  who  saw  it),  took  refuge  in  an  ox-cart,  but  were  swept 
away  and  drowned.  The  bodies  of  all  of  these  men  were  found 
when  the  waters  subsided,  with  the  exception  of  William 
Knowles'  son,  whose  body  was  found  twenty-one  days  afterward 
on  Ram  Island  by  Jeremiah  W.  Whalley,  who  in  company  with 
his  cousin  Ezekiel  was  on  the  island,  gunning.  William 
Knowles'  son,  without  doubt,  landed  on  the  island  alive,  and  had 


crawled  up  sotne  little  distance  out  of  reach  of  the  tide,  but  was 
so  much  exhausted  that  he  died  there. 

The  beginning  of  the  present  century  marked  an  era  in  the 
progress  of  the  country.  By  this  time  traces  of  the  late  war  had 
somewhat  disappeared,  and  there  was  a  brighter  promise  for  the 
future.  In  the  meantime  an  intercourse  with  the  West  Indies 
had  sprung  up  and  the  coast  trade,  which  the  war  had  interrupted, 
"was  again  resumed.  Brigs  and  schooners  and  ships  were  loaded 
at  the  wharves  on  the  coast  line  and  especially  at  Wickford,  and 
the  crops  of  the  country  for  miles  around  were  shipped  by  sea 
and  exchanged  for  the  tropical  productions  of  the  Antilles.  "  Few 
places  in  Rhode  Island,"  says  Baker,  "  at  this  time  witnessed 
greater  mercantile  activity  than  AVickford,  which  even  rivalled 
Providence  and  bid  fair,  with  surpassing  facilities,  to  become  one 
of  the  leading  emporiums  of  the  state." 

Providence  merchants,  seeing  the  advantages  which  Wickford 
possessed  for  foreign  trade,  caught  the  spirit  of  enterprise,  and 
the  founder  of  the  present  firm  of  ''  Browne  &  Ives  "  even  went 
so  far  as  to  negotiate  for  land  along  the  harbor,  but  the  owners 
demanded  exorbitant  prices,  and  so  the  welfare  of  the  town 
was  sacrificed  by  the  penuriousness  of  individuals.  An  attempt 
was  also  made  to  secure  the  Connecticut  valley  trade,  and  with 
this  in  view  a  road  was  surveyed  to  Jewett  City,  but  before  the 
plans  were  matured  Providence,  anticipating  the  benefit  of  such 
a  move,  had  laid  out  a  turnpike  road  ;  and  this  fact,  with  the  sud- 
den death  of  Remington  vSouthwick,  the  most  earnest  advocate 
of  the  scheme,  disheartened  the  others  and  the  project  was  aban- 

Nearly  all  the  vessels  employed  at  this  time  were  launched 
from  the  shipyards  in  Wickford.  Mr.  Baker  says  there  were  as 
many  as  five  large  vessels  at  one  time  on  the  stocks.  Captain 
John  McKinzie  was  an  extensive  builder  and  pursued  his  busi- 
ness near  the  site  of  the  present  Bobbin  mill.  "  The  Union,"  a 
full  rigged  ship  (with  two  exceptions  the  largest  at  that  time  in 
the  state),  was  constructed  north  of  Gardiner's  wharf,  and  in  1816, 
at  the  extreme  head  of  the  cove  just  southeast  of  Mr.  James' 
residence  was  built  the  sloop  "  Resolution,"  more  familiarly 
styled  the  "  Reso  ;"  "  That  old  argonautic  craft,"  says  Baker, 
"whose  name  will  always  be  synonymous  with  huckleberries 
and  'lections."  But  in  North  Kingstown  shipbuilding  entirely 
ceased,  and  in  a  few  years  the  last  West  India-man  disappeared, 


but  what  the  village  of  Wickford  lost  North  Kingstown  gained. 
The  enterprise  of  the  town  was  now  changed  into  new  channels, 
and  from  this  time  the  sound  of  the  adze  and  the  hammer,  the 
voice  of  the  loom,  and  the  busy  hum  of  machinery  were  heard. 

Ship  Building.— This  industry  has  been  carried  on  along  the 
banks  of  the  Pawcatuck  river  and  shores  of  the  sea  and  Narra- 
gansett  bay  to  a  considerable  extent.  The  names  of  the  ship. 
Wrights  have  been  numerous.  From  Westerly  to  Wickford  fish- 
ing boats  and  keels,  of  various  size,  have  graduated  seamen  and 
captains  for  the  remotest  oceans  and  seas. 

The  three-masted  schooner  was  the  result  of  the  ingenious  im- 
provements made  from  time  to  time  by  Captain  John  Aldrich 
Saunders,  a  man  of,excellent  character  and  a  famous  shipwright. 
He  was  born  near  Pawcatuck  Bridge  in  1786,  and  died  at  Tower 
Hill,  South  Kingstown,  in  1832. 

Reverend  Frederick  Denison,  in  "  Westerly  and  Its  Wit- 
nesses," speaking  of  the  early  shipwrights,  says  :  "  Ship  building 
was  early  carried  on  along  the  banks  of  the  Pawcatuck,  from  the 
river's  mouth  to  the  head  of  navigation  on  both  banks.  These 
crafts  have  been  of  all  tonnage  and  rig,  from  sloops  to  ships. 
Some  of  these  did  service  in  the  early  wars. 

"  The  first  shipwright  in  the  town  was  Mr.  Joseph  Wells,  who 
bought  the  sight  for  his  yard  of  George  Denison,  near  Pawcatuck 
Rock.  The  prominent  builders  of  later  times,  beginning  near 
1800,  were  Nathan  Potter,  Joseph  Barber,  Silas  Greenman,  Sen., 
Elisha  Lanphear,  George  Sheffield,  Hazard  Crandall,  Silas 
Greemnan,  Jr.,  John  Brown,  H.  &  F.  Sheffield,  George  S.  Green- 

"  The  first  steamboat  built  on  the  river  was  constructed  near 
1840,  by  Sprague  Barber,  and  named  the  '  Novelty.'  The 
steamer  built  and  plying  on  the  river  in  1869  was  called  the 
'  Florence.' 

"  The  early  merchants  of  Westerly  were  usually  ship  owners 
as  well  to  some  degree.  Prior  to  the  general  introduction  of 
mechanical  enterprises,  the  wealth  of  the  town  went  out  exten- 
sively upon  the  seas.  From  1800  to  1835  numerous  fishing  keels 
were  fitted  for  the  Newfoundland  and  Labrador  coasts.  The 
cargoes,  sold  at  home  and  in  foreign  ports,  realized  important 
returns.  The  West  Indian  trade  was  popular  and  lucrative ; 
produce,  staves,  mules  and  horses  were  exchanged  for  rum,  mo- 
lasses and  dry  goods." 


Joseph  Peace  Hazard,  in  speaking  of  Captain  Saunders  in  the 
Narragansett  Register,  says :  "  That  he  appears  to  have  devoted 
himself  to  boat  building  from  boyhood,  and  to  have  discovered 
that  the  American  sycamore — buttonwood,  that  is  nearly  valueless 
for  other  purposes,  is  the  best  wood  for  keels  that  New  England 
affords,  and  to  have  used  and  tested  it  accordingl5^" 

In  1809  he  built  at  his  father's  house,  near  Dorrville,  and  five 
miles  from  Westerly,  his  first  vessel,  a  fishing  sloop,  which  he 
named  "  Catherine."  She  was  twenty-five  tons  burden,  and  was 
built  for  his  own  use,  but  was  afterward  sold  to  Peter  Tebo  for 
$500  in  specie.  His  wife,  Catherine,  spun  yarn,  tow  and  linen, 
and  his  sister,  Lydia,  wove  it  into  cloth,  which  was  sent  to  New 
London  to  be  cut  and  made  into  sails.  With  his  own  hands  he 
made  the  tools  which  he  used  in  shaping  the  hull.  It  was  rolled 
on  huge  wheels  to  Pawcatuck  river,  distant  some  five  miles. 
With  it  he  removed  his  family  to  Newport,  where  he  had  better 
facilities  for  building.  He  located  his  ship-yard  on  Audley 
Clarke's  wharf,  near  the  present  Perry  mill.  After  selling  the 
"Catherine"  he  took  the  money  to  build  the  " King  Fisher,"  a 
fishing  sloop  of  about  30  tons,  the  keel  of  which  was  laid  in  this 
yard.  This  vessel  was  launched  in  1811.  She  was  a  very  good 
sailing  vessel,  and  he  commanded  her  himself.  He  brought  fish 
from  Nantucket  to  New  Haven  and  Providence  markets.  Dur- 
ing the  year  1812  she  was  chartered  by  Rouse  Babcock,  of  West- 
erly, to  take  a  load  of  goods  from  Newport  to  Westerly.  She 
sailed  out  of  Newport  with  a  strong  breeze,  but  before  she 
reached  Brenton's  Reef  the  wind  died  out  and  she  was  becalmed. 
The  English  man-of-war,  "Orpheus,"  lay  off  Brenton's  Reef, 
and  seeing  the  helpless  sloop,  sent  a  barge  and  captured  her. 
She  was  taken  alongside  and  unloaded,  the  sailors  feasting  on 
ginger-bread  which  they  found  in  her  cargo.  Beipg  too  small 
to  take  to  Halifax,  Captain  Saunders  and  his  crew  were  set  at 
liberty.  Phillip  Tappen,  observing  this  sight,  supposed  that 
Captain  Saunders  was  trading  with  the  English.  Captain 
Saunders  was  set  ashore  on  Martha's  Vineyard,  and  his  vessel 
sold  in  Nantucket  that  same  day.  Phillip  Tappen  was  shot. 
Captain  Saunders  reached  mainland  by  an  Indian  canoe,  and 
plodded  his  way  homeward  on  foot  to  Westerly,  whither  he  had 
removed  his  family  a  short  time  before.  His  vessel  was  gone, 
not  a  cent  of  money  was  in  his  pocket,  and  all  the  clothes  he 
had  in  the  world  were  on  his  back.     Thus  disabled  he  built 


small  vessels   for  awhile,  and  about  1813  he  moved   to  South 

On  the  training  lot  at  the  foot  of  Tower  Hill  he  built  the  first 
centreboard  vessel  that  was  ever  built  in  this  section  of  the  coun- 
try, or  in  Rhode  Island.  She  was  called  the  "  Dolphin,"  and  was 
his  third  vessel.  Though  but  few  vessels  are  built  in  these  days 
without  centreboards,  this  vessel  was  a  wonder  on  account  of  it. 
Captain  Saunders  ran  her  himself  awhile  in  general  freighting, 
and  then  sold  her  to  Adam  States,  of  Stonington,  Conn.  He  took 
half  the  price  in  stoneware,  which  he  sold  afterward  in  Newport 

Captain  Saunders  next  built  the  "  Eagle,"  his  fourth  vessel,, 
in  the  year  1814,  for  John  Jay  Watson.  In  all  he  built  nine 
vessels  on  the  training  lot  above  mentioned,  about  two  miles 
west  of  Watson's  pier,  and  on  the  west  side  of  Pettaquamscutt 

The  fifth  vessel  was  the  "  Commerce,"  built  by  a  stock  com- 
pany, in  1815.  "  In  this  vessel  the  movable  keel  was  made  in 
three  different  portions,  so  that  one,  two  or  all  three  could  be 
lowered.  It  was  soon  discovered  that  the  three  united  would 
work  better,  and  the  change  was  therefore  made.  The  celebrated 
'  Nailor  Tom '  did  the  iron  work  about  the  keel  sheath,  etc., 
when  this  change  was  made." 

The  following  are  the  names  of  other  vessels  built  by  Captain 
Saunders : 

"  Dolphin,"  a  small  sloop. 

"Sally,"  a  sloop  of  60  tons  burden.  It  went  to  South  America 
in  1817. 

"  Rising  Sun,"  a  sloop  of  60  tons,  built  in  1819. 

"  Narragansett,"  a  sloop  of  35  tons  burden,  1820. 

"  Harriet,"  a  sloop  of  120  tons  burden,  1821. 

"  Alabny,"  a  sloop  of  120  tons  burden,  1823. 

"  Nonsuch,"  a  fiat-bottomed  schooner,  built  like  a  sharpie.  She 
was  built  for  three  masts.  Her  keel  was  laid  in  1822.  She  was 
the  second  and  last  vessel  built  at  the  Snuff  mill  by  Captain 

There  was  at  that  time  a  great  deal  of  oak  and  chestnut  tim- 
ber in  North  Kingstown.  The  timber  for  this  vessel  was  cut 
on  the  Hammond  farm,  near  by,  and  hauled  from  the  stump  in 
one  day.  In  describing  this  vessel  Mr.  Hazard  says :  "  The  '  Non- 
such '  was  original  in  several  respects,  and  so  peculiar  that  nu- 


merous  were  the  nicknames  bestowed  upon  her.  One  was  be- 
stowed by  Francis  Carpenter,  who  characterized  her  as  the  '  sea 
serpent.'  Others  called  her  the  'Flying  Dragon.'  Her  frame 
was  laid  with  three  keels,  parallel  with  each  other,  sixty-five  feet 
in  length,  with  a  sheath  in  the  middle  for  the  centreboard  or  the 
movable  keel  that  adapted  her  to  shoal  water  as  well  as  deep 
with  availability  also.  Her  beam  was  eighteen  feet,  her  depth 
amidship  only  two  feet ;  but  having  a  break  of  two  feet  forward 
and  the  same  aft,  with  a  trunk  cabin  on  the  latter  of  eighteen 
inches  in  additional  height  thereto.  She  was  enabled  to  have  a 
cabin  aft  of  five  and  a  half  feet  in  height  for  the  accommodation 
of  the  crew,  in  which  was  a  fireplace  and  a  chimney  of  brick. 

"  This  unique  craft,  having  a  broad  as  well  as  a  flat  bottom, 
her  hold  was  spacious  in  proportion  to  her  tonnage,  at  the  same 
time  her  draft  being  very  little,  being  only  10  inches  when  light 
and  24  inches  when  loaded. 

"  Hers  was  the  first  center-board  ever  used  excepting  the  sec- 
tional one  that  Captain  Saunders  had  put  in  the  '  Commerce  '  in 
1816.  *  *  *  The  '  Nonsuch  '  was  fore  and  aft  rigged  and  had 
three  masts,  hence  a  schooner  instead  of  a  ship  or  barque.  She 
was  steered  not  by  a  direct  tiller  but  by  means  of  a  wheel,  this 
being  the  first  helm  (it  is  said)  of  the  kind  that  was  used  and 
therefore  an  invention  of  the  captain's." 

The  next  vessel  built  by  Captain  Saunders  was  the  "  South 
Kingstown,"  a  sloop  of  25  tons,  built  in  1824,  and  said  to  be  the 
fastest  sailer  in  Narragansett  bay.  She  was  lost  on  the  shore  of 
the  seaside  farm  just  below  Narragansett  Pier.  The  "  Sea  Bird  " 
was  a  hermaphrodite  brig  of  over  200  tons,  built  in  1825,  for 
George  Engs,  afterward  lieutenant-governor  of  Rhode  Island. 
Other  vessels  built  by  Saunders  were  the  "General  Battey,"  a 
sloop  of  120  tons;  "The  Union,"  a  sloop  of  70  tons;  the  sloop 
"  William,"  140  tons  ;  the  sloop  "  Eagle,"  30  tons  ;  "  Pocahontas," 
a  schooner  of  200  tons  ;  "  Kingston,"  a  sloop  of  100  tons,  and  the 
"  Lark,"  the  last  vessel  built  by  Captain  Saunders.  It  was  built 
in  1832  for  John  Jay  Watson.  This  was  his  twenty-second  ves- 
sel and  was  finished  by  his  son,  John  A.  Saunders,  after  his 
father's  death. 

An  incident  occurred  in  the  life  of  this  son  worthy  of  repeti- 
tion. When  a  boy  young  Saunders  often  went  to  sea  in  a  little 
fishing  boat  alone,  and  as  far  as  the  famous  Codfish  and  Squid 
Ledge  near  Block  Island  Sound,  a  dozen  miles  away.     On  one  of 


these  occasions  a  storm  threatened  approaching  danger,  and  he 
hastily  set  about  for  a  return  to  Narrow  river.  To  his  dismay  he 
could  not  raise  his  anchor.  He  tugged  in  vain  but  it  was  evi- 
dently fouled  ;  to  cut  the  rope  would  be  to  lose  his  killick,  so  he 
dove  down  to  the  bottom,  following  the  rope  as  a  leader  and 
found  one  of  the  flukes  fast  in  the  seam  of  the  ledge,  but  striking 
it  like  a  pearl  diver,  he  finally  disengaged  it  and  was  soon  after 
sailing  away  for  home. 

When  Fulton's  steamboat  made  her  first  trip  from  New  York 
to  Providence  she  displaced  her  machinery  when  off  Squid  Ledge 
and  stopped  for  repairs.  The  people  on  shore  thought  it  was  a 
wreck  and  made  preparations  to  board  her.  Their  surprise,  how- 
ever, was  great  to  see  her  steam  away  under  control  like  a  ship 
without  masts  and  on  fire. 

Jonas  Minturn  married  Penelope  Brown,  of  South  Kingstown 
December  21st,  1732.  He  lived  and  died  on  his  own  farm  in  Nar- 
ragansett.  His  son  William  Minturn  exhibited  an  energy  and 
decision  of  character  which  were  conspicuous.  Desirous  of  see- 
ing more  of  the  world,  he  made  several  voyages  from  Newport 
in  a  ship  of  which  he  was  mate,  and  was  so  successful  he  after- 
ward became  captain  and  subsequently  an  owner  of  a  vessel  him- 
self. He  became  greatly  distinguished  as  a  successful  merchant 
and  a  benevolent  and  public-spirited  citizen. 

In  1788,  many  of  the  first  citizens  of  Rhode  Island  and  Massa- 
chusetts associated  themselves  together  for  the  important  object 
of  founding  a  city  on  the  Hudson  river.  Mr.  Minturn  became 
eminently  conspicuous  in  this  undertaking,  because  of  his  pru- 
dence and  foresight  in  the  founding  of  the  city  of  Hudson.  In 
1791  he  moved  to  New  York  city  and  continued  a  successful  mer- 
cantile career  until  his  death  in  1799. 

Social  Indulgences. — The  state  of  society  on  account  of  so 
much  wealth  and  leisure  in  those  early  times  was  productive  of 
festivities  and  of  dissipations.  Excursions  to  Hartford,  pace 
races  on  the  beach,  corn  huskings,  festivals  in  the  autumn,  wed- 
ding celebrations,  the  fox  chase  with  hounds  and  horses,  fishing, 
fowling,  etc.,  were  among  the  indulgences  of  the  times. 

At  the  corn  husking  festivals  invitations  were  extended  to  all 
those  proprietors  who  were  in  the  habits  of  family  intimacy, 
and  in  return  the  invited  guests  sent  their  slaves  to  aid  the  host 
by  their  services.  At  these  large  gatherings  expensive  enter- 
tainments would  be  prepared,  and  after  the  repast  dancing  would 


be  commenced  as  a  recreation.  Every  family  was  provided  with 
a  large  hall  in  their  spacious  mansion  and  had  natural  musicians 
among  their  slaves.  Updike,  in  speaking  of  these  festivals,  says  : 
"  Gentlemen  in  their  scarlet  coats  and  swords,  with  laced  ruffles 
over  their  hands,  hair  turned  back  from  the  forehead  and  curled 
and  frizzled,  clubbed  or  queued  behind,  highly  powdered  and 
pomatumed,  small  clothes,  silk  stockings  and  shoes  ornamented 
with  brilliant  buckles,  and  ladies  dressed  in  brocade,  cushioned 
head-dresses,  and  high  heeled  shoes,  performed  the  formal  min- 
uet with  its  thirty-six  different  positions  and  changes.  These 
festivities  would  sometimes  continue  for  days  and  the  banquets 
among  the  land  proprietors  would,  for  a  longer  or  shorter  time, 
be  continued  during  the  season  of  harvest.  These  seasons  of 
hilarity  and  festivity  were  as  gratifying  to  the  slaves  as  to  their 
masters,  as  bountiful  preparations  were  made  and  like  amuse- 
ments were  enjoyed  by  them  in  the  large  kitchens  and  out  houses, 
the  places  of  their  residences.  The  great  land  proprietors  indulged 
in  these  expensive  festivals  until  the  revolution.  People  now  liv- 
ing relate  the  fact  of  John  Potter  having  had  a  thousand  bushels 
of  corn  husked  in  one  day.  This  practice  was  continued  occa- 
sionally down  to  the  year  1800,  but  on  a  diminished  scale  of  ex- 
pense and  numbers. 

"  At  Christmas  commenced  the  holy  days.  The  work  of  the 
season  was  completed  and  done  up,  and  the  twelve  days  were  gen- 
erally devoted  to  festive  associations.  In  former  times  all  connec- 
tions by  blood  or  affinity  were  entitled  to  respectful  attentions, 
and  they  were  treated  as  welcome  guests  as  a  matter  of  right  on 
one  side  and  courtesy  on  the  other.  Every  gentleman  of  estate 
had  his  circle  of  connections  and  acquaintances  and  they  were  in- 
vited from  one  plantation  to  another.  Every  member  of  a  fami- 
ly had  his  particular  horse  and  servant,  and  they  rarely  rode  un- 
attended by  their  servants,  to  open  gates  and  to  take  charge  of 
the  horse.  Carriages  were  unknown  and  the  public  roads  were 
not  so  good  nor  so  numerous  as  at  present.  Narragansett  has 
fewer  public  roads  than  most  parts  of  the  state.  There  were  drift- 
ways from  one  plantation  to  another,  with  gates,  and  this  incon- 
venient obstruction  still  continues.  Quidnessett  is  traveled  mostly 
through  gates  and  from  one  extreme  of  Boston  Neck  to  the  other, 
a  distance  of  ten  miles  through  the  richest  tract  of  land  in  Narra- 
gansett, the  only  mode  of  traveling  is  by  driftAvays  with  gates, 
and  the  great  Point  Judith  tract  had  no  public  road  until  lately. 


"  When  all  the  riding  was  done  on  horseback,  servants  always; 
attended  their  masters,  the  badness  of  the  roads  and  the  trouble- 
some impediments  of  gates  and  bars  were  not  as  sensibly  felt  as 
at  this  day  when  carriages  are  used  and  every  man  is  his  own- 

"  But  the  wedding  was  the  great  gala  of  olden  times.  The 
exhibition  of  expensive  apparel  and  the  attendance  of  numbers 
almost  exceeds  belief.  The  last  of  these  celebrations  was  given 
about  the  year  1790  by  Nicholas  Gardiner.  He  dressed  in  the 
rich  style  of  former  days,  with  a  cocked  hat,  full  bottomed  white 
wig,  snuff  colored  coat,  and  waistcoat  with  deep  pockets,  cape 
low,  so  as  not  to  disturb  the  wig  and  at  the  same  time  expose  the 
large  silver  stock  buckle  of  the  plaited  neck-cloth  of  white  linen 
cambric ;  small  clothes  and  white  topped  boots  finely  polished. 
He  was  a  portly,  courteous  gentleman  of  the  old  school.  Since 
his  death  his  estate  has  been  divided  into  several  good  farms. 

"  The  fox  chase,  with  hounds  and  horns,  fishing  and  fowling, 
was  enchanting  recreation.  Wild  pigeons,  partridges,  quail, 
woodcock,  squirrels  and  rabbits  were  innumerable.  Such  were 
the  amusements,  pastimes,  festivities  and  galas  of  ancient  Nar- 

It  may  not  be  uninteresting  to  mention  the  names  of  some  of 
the  old  families  which  frequently  associated  as  friends  and 
companions.  Among  them  were :  Doctor  Babcock,  Colonel  .Stan- 
ton, Colonel  Champlin,  the  two  Governor  Hazards,  Governor 
Robinson,  Colonel  Potter,  Judge  Potter,  the  Gardiners,  Colonel 
Willett,  Elisha  Cole,  John  and  Edward  Cole,  Judge  Helme,  Up- 
dike, Nathan  Robinson,  Colonel  Brown,  Doctor  McSparran,  and 
Doctor  Fayerweather.  They  received  frequent  visits  from  Doc- 
tor Gardiner,  the  Sewalls  and  others  from  Boston,  Doctor  Moffatt, 
Judge  Lightfoot,  Colonel  Coddington,  George  Rome,  Judge 
Marchant,  the  Brentons  and  others  from  Newport,  several  of 
whom  owned  estates  in  Narragansett,  and  spent  much  of  their 
time  there  with  their  respective  friends  and  acquaintances. 
These  constituted  a  bright,  intellectual  and  fascinating  society. 
Great  sociability  and  interchange  of  visits  prevailed  among 
them,  and  strangers  were  welcome  and  treated  with  old-fashioned 
urbanity  and  hospitality.  But  the  political  acrimony,  strifes  and 
discord  engendered  by  the  revolution  broke  up  and  destroyed 
their  previously  existing  intercourse,  and  harmonious  relations 


were  never  again  restored.     By  that  event  we  became  another 
and  a  new  people. 

The  Washington  County  Agricultural  Society.*— One 
of  the  most  successful  agricultural  societies  in  New  England  is 
the  Washington  County  Agricultural  Society,  whose  fair  grounds 
are  located  near  Kingston  depot,  in  the  town  of  South  Kings- 

In  1872  a  few  farmers  in  South  Kingstown  organized  a  farmers' 
club,  and  subsequently  held  a  fair  at  Wakefield.  From  this  club 
and  fair  originated  the  county  society,  which  was  organized  at 
a  meeting  of  citizens  from  all  parts  of  the  county,  October  20th, 
1874,  held  in  the  court  house  at  Kingston.  The  first  meeting  for 
the  election  of  ofhcers  was  held  January  6th,  1875.  Rowland 
Hazard,  of  South  Kingstown,  was  elected  president,  with  seven 
vice-presidents,  one  from  each  town  in  the  county ;  Henry  T. 
Braman,  secretary,  and  Nathan  F.  Dixon,  Jr.,  treasurer.  There 
were  about  seventy-five  life  members.  The  membership  fee  was 
five  dollars.  The  society  was  incorporated  by  the  legislature  of 
this  state  at  the  January  session,  1875. 

The  society  leased  of  J.  P.  and  George  C.  Robinson  for  ten 
years,  twenty  acres  of  the  Robinson  farm,  located  near  Kingston 
depot,  built  a  fence  around  it  and  erected  an  exhibition  building, 
100  by  30  feet,  an  office  for  the  secretary  and  committees,  also  a 
few  cattle  sheds.  At  a  meeting  of  the  executive  committee  held 
April  28th,  1875,  it  was  voted  that  a  fair  be  held  September  15th 
and  16th  "  if  not  stormy."  At  the  same  time  a  resolution  was 
passed,  cordially  inviting  the  South  Kingstown  Farmers'  Club  to 
unite  with  this  society  in  advancing  the  agricultural  interests  of 
this  county. 

The  first  fair  was  a  small  affair.  Farmers  and  others  seemed 
to  wait  to  see  if  the  society  was  to  be  a  success  before  they  took 
an  active  interest  in  it.  But  its  fairs  have  steadily  increased  in 
interest  and  magnitude  until  it  has  become  the  equal  if  not  the 
superior  of  any  county  fair  in  the  country.  To  meet  the  demands 
of  exhibitors  it  has  been  necessary  to  erect  a  new  building  of 
some  kind  upon  the  grounds  every  year.  There  is  now  an  ex- 
hibition building  240  by  32  feet,  90  feet  of  which  is  two-stOry,  the 
upper  hall  being  used  for  display  of  fancy  work  and  domestic 
manufactures.  The  cattle  sheds  are  about  two  thousand  feet  in 
length,  with  sheds  and  pens  for  sheep  and  swine,  a  large  build- 
*  By  John  G.  Clarke. 

92  HiSTorx.v  OF  \vasiiin(;t(-)N  and  kent  countiks. 

ing  f(-ii-  the  exhibit  of  poultry,  a  large  hay  barn,  eight  horse  barns 
and  a  building  for  lodging  men  who  ha\'e  charge  of  stock.  There 
are  six  wells  furnishing  excellent  water. 

In  1883,  needing  more  land,  some  acres  adjoining,  making 
thirty  in  all,  were  purchased  of  the  Messrs.  Robinson  for  $0,r)()(). 
The  next  year  a  grand  stand  was  erected  adjoining  the  track, 
capable  of  seating  comfortably  three  thou.sand  people,  which  is 
at  all  times  free  to  all.  The  same  year  Honorable  Rc)\vland 
Hazard,  president,  erected  and  presented  to  the  society  a  fine 
hall,  which  will  seat  more  than  one  thousand  persons.  It  is  an 
ornament  to  the  ground  and  a  valuable  addition  to  the  buildings. 
It  has  been  the  custom  of  this  society  to  have  during  the  annual 
fairs  addresses,  usually  from  its  president,  and  other  literary  ex- 

All  forms  of  gambling,  all  games  of  chance,  all  intoxicating 
liquors,  negro  minstrels  and  disreputable  shows  are  rigorously 
excluded  from  the  grounds.  It  has  been  the  constant  aim  of 
the  managers  to  make  the  fair  something  more  than  a  cattle 
show — an  educator  of  the  people.  The  annual  addresses  of  the 
president  have  been  models  of  their  kind,  discussing  subjects  of 
vital  interest  to  the  county,  and  in  this  respect  have  given  this 
society  a  character  and  standing  not  attained  by  any  other  agri- 
cultural society  within  our  knowledge. 

Starting  with  a  debt  of  $2,000  it  has  expended  $2.'"),000  in  erect- 
ing buildings  and  making  improvements,  and  an  equal  sum  has 
been  paid  in  premiums. 

The  number  of  life  members  at  present  is  nearly  four  hundred. 
The  membership  fee  is  $10. 

The  officers  of  the  society  for  1888  were  as  follows :  President, 
Honorable  Rowland  Hazard  ;  vice-presidents,  Beriah  H.  Lawton, 
North  Kingstown  ;  John  Babcock,  South  King.stown  ;  Gideon  T. 
Collins,  Westerly  ;  Thomas  H.  Greene,  Hopkinton ;  Halsey  P. 
Clarke,  Richmond  ;  Edwin  A.  Kenyon,  Charlestown  ;  Benjamin 
L.  Arnold,  Exeter;  secretary,  John  G.Clarke  ;  treasurer,  Jesse  V. 
B.  Watson;  auditor,  John  G.  Perry  ;  executive  committee,  Row- 
land Hazard,  Beriah  H.  Lawton, William  E.  Pierce,  John  Babcock, 
James  E.  Anthony,  (iideon  T.  Collins,  vSamuel  II.  Cross,  Thomas 
H.  Greene,  William  L.  Clarke,  Jesse  V.  B.  Watson,  Halsey  P. 
Clarke,  John  L.  Kenyon,  Edwin  A.  Kenyon,  A.  A.  Saunders,  M.  D., 
Benjamin  L.  Arnold,  Philip  A.  Money;  general  .superintendent, 
J.  V.  B.  Watson;  chief  marshal,  Thomas  II.  (ireenc;  committee 

IIISTOkV    OK    WASIIINlilON    ANM    KKN'I'    ( :(M  I NTI  I'lS.  !»:5 

oil  fuir,  J;iiiK's  li.  Anthony,  Cidcon  'l\  Collins,  licriiili  ll.Ivawlon, 
A.  A.S.-iimdcrs,  M.D. 

Mr.  Ilax-;ii-(l  ]i;is  bt'cn  prt'sidtHit  of  this  society  since  it  was 
stiirtcul,  .Hiid  Mr,  John  ().  C'l.'irkc  with  the  exception  of  one  ye;ir 
(the  (irst)  its  secret;iry. 

'I'lii',  I'liHiJC  S('ll()()i,s.  'Pile  public  school  system  of  Rhode 
isl.'iiid  d;ites  l);  to  the  ];d)ors  of  oiu'  niiui,  John  I  lowland. 
'I'his  eiiiinent  citizen  of  the  slate  was  born  in  Newport  in  1707, 
and  was  sont  to  I'l-ovidciicc  at  thirt('cn  to  be  a  hair  dresser's  ap- 
|)r(;ntice.  I  le  was  a  Soldier  in  the  revolutionary  war,  and  ii])on 
his  return  lionie  to  Providence  he  ay^ain  served  as  a  barber,  and 
had  a  shop  of  his  own.  In  later  life  he  w;is  treasurer  of  the  first 
savin},y,s  bank  in  I'rovidence,  was  ])rcsident  of  the  Kliode  Island 
Historical  Society,  and  president  of  ;i  peace  society  of  wliieh  he 
■'issisteil  in  the  fonii;ition.  I  le  was  also  a  nieinber  of  theMeehaii- 
ies'  Assoc'ia,tioii,  and  it  was  in  this  body  in  llu;  year  1780  that  the 
aj^itatioii  was  be).;iin  that  led  to  the  establislinient  of  the  public: 
schools.  John  llowl.and  there  .and  tln'ii  be}r;tn  to  talk  .and  write 
in  beh.alf  of  some  system  wouM  to  the  edticatitni  of  the 
ehihlreii  of  the  m.asses.  In  his  labors  he  h;id  the  ).;do(l  will  of 
many  educated  nicii.  'riiere  were  'I'  I'-  Ivt'S,  '  \.. 
li;dsey,  havid  \j.  li.arnes  .and  others  who  been  educated  in 
the  pidilic  schools  in  M.assaehusetls,  rdl  of  whom  understood  the 
wants  in  this  movement. 

vSubse(|iiently  ;i  committee  was  appointed  to  meet  at  the  house 
of  Mr.  liowland,  when  it  was  resolved  to  address  the  j; 
assembly  on  this  subji't't.  The  in  time  presented 
to  the  le^isl.ators.  'IMie  subject  refei-red  by  the  }.;-ener;d  a.s- 
sembly  to  .a  committee  which  reported  in  June,  l7iH),  a  bill  that  ordered  to  be  jirinted  .and  to  be  distributed  to  the 
lowns  for  in.struction.  In  the  following' ( '"-'tober  a  bill  was  ]).as,sed 
by  the  of  representatives,  but  it  was  postponed  by  the 
.senate  to  the  .session  held  in  ii'el)ru.ary,  IHOO,  when  it  became  a 

'I'his  bill  .an  ,aet  to  establish  free  .schools  in  every  town  in 
the  stale.  The  bill  eii.acted,  "Si-etion  I,  Jk-  it  en.aeted  by  the 
(  As,si;mbly  .and  the  .authorities  thereof,  and  it  is  hereby 
en.aeted:  That  e.aeli  .and  eveiy  town  in  the  St.ate  sh.all  .annually 
cause  to  be  established  and  kc:pt  at  the  expense  of  ,sueh  town 
one  or  more  free  .schools  for  the  instniction  of  all  the  white  in- 
h.abitantsof  s;iid  town,  betwi'eii  the  aK'es  of  six  and  twenty  years 


in  reading,  writing  and  common  arithmetic,  who  may  stand  in 
need  of  such  instruction  and  apply  therefor. 

"Sec.  2.  And  be  it  further  enacted.  That  it  shall  be  the  duty 
of  the  town  council  of  every  town  to  divide  said  town  into  so 
many  school  districts  as  they  shall  judge  necessary  and  con- 

This  was  the  system  upon  which  the  public  schools  of  the 
state  were  based.  To  foster  the  schools  of  the  parts  of  the  state 
each  town  was  privileged  to  draw  20  per  centum  of  the  amount 
of  the  state  taxes  of  the  preceding  year  paid  into  the  general 
treasury  by  said  town,  provided  the  same  did  not  exceed  in  the 
whole  the  sum  of  six  thousand  dollars.  There  were  also  other 
provisions  made  for  the  erection  of  school  houses,  for  the  election 
of  school  officers,  etc.,  etc. 

The  law  met  with  great  opposition,  and  at  the  February  ses- 
sion of  1803  was  repealed.  Providence,  however,  carried  the 
system  into  effect,  and  those  schools  have  been  sustained  ever 
since  under  the  organization  then  begun,  and  as  the  whole  state 
was  brought  under  a  system  identical  with  that  proposed  by  Mr. 
Howland,  he  may  justly  be  called  the  founder  of  the  school  sys- 
tem of  the  state. 

Prior  to  this  time  the  people  supported  what  were  then  recog- 
nized as  private  schools,  the  majority  of  which  were  kept  in 
dwelling  houses,  sometimes  in  some  vacant  carpenter's  shop  or 
some  old  dwelling  house.  The  school  rooms  were  unique  in 
those  days.  The  old  stone  chimney,  with  a  fireplace  six  or  eight 
feet  wide,  and  stone  and  irons,  with  a  glowing  fire  made  of  oak 
or  hickory  wood ;  the  cross  legged  table  and  the  long  writing 
desks  on  two  or  three  sides  of  the  room,  the  benches  of  saw  mill 
slabs  and  round  legs  for  a  score  or  more  of  boys  and  girls  in  their 
teens  all  dressed  in  moss  covered  flannel  or  sheep's  gray  kersey, 
with  a  clownish  pedagogue  for  the  central  figure,  constitutes  the 
the  picture  of  an  antiquated  school  room  in  ye  olden  times. 

The  schoolmaster,  clad  in  the  old  English  costume,  the  stand- 
ing collar,  the  large  broad  skirts,  the  velvet  knee  breeches, 
buckled  tight  below  the  knees,  the  long  gray  stockings  and  the 
shoes  with  broad  buckles,  with  powdered  hair  and  braided  queue; 
with  ferule  in  hand  and  enough  skill  to  make  a  goose  quill  pen, 
had  the  right  to  exercise  a  lordship  equal  to  a  monarch  over  his 
©wn  domain. 

Reading,  writing  and  ciphering  constituted  the  curriculum  of 


■Studies  in  those  earlier  days.  In  arithmetic  the  pupil  was  often 
required  to  write  in  manuscript  all  the  sums  and  principal  rules, 
except  probably  in  fractions,  which  but  few  teachers  were  ac- 
quainted with.  Sometimes  the  teacher  had  a  manuscript  of  his 
■own,  and  if  he  could  not  readily  solve  the  sums  for  his  scholar 
he  would  resort  to  it.  The  books  used  in  the  schools  were  Pike's 
and  Daboll's  arithmetics,  sometimes  Dilworth's.  In  1783  Noah 
Webster  published  his  spelling  book,  English  grammar,  and  a 
compilation  for  reading.  These  were  the  first  books  of  the  kind 
published  in  this  country,  and  they  soon  won  general  patronage. 
Rules  for  governing  the  schools  were  few  and  arbitrary.  Whip- 
ping the  hand  with  a  ferule  or  leather  strap,  or  causing  the  dis- 
obedient scholar  to  hold  up  a  block  of  three  or  four  pounds 
weight  by  the  hand  at  full  arm's  length  for  five  or  ten  minutes, 
or  yoking  two  scholars  together  with  a  yoke — sometimes  a  boy 
and  a  girl — or  whipping  till  the  tears  would  come,  are  a  few  of  the 
rmethods  then  used  to  beat  a  knowledge  of  the  common  branches 
into  the  minds  of  the  rising  generation. 

During  the  latter  part  of  the  last  century  the  study  of  arms 
and  the  practice  thereof  robbed  the  school  of  its  patronage. 
From  July  4th,  1776,  till  October  19th,  1781,  when  Yorktown  sur- 
rendered, the  all  absorbing  question,  "what  will  become  of  us  if 
Washington  and  his  army  do  not  triumph  ?"  engaged  the  thoughts 
-of  every  one.  Prior  to  1790  so  ruinous  to  educational  progress 
had  been  the  effects  of  the  war,  that  the  lower  classes,  or  the 
yeomanry  of  the  land,  fancied  that  learning  was  deleterious  to 
the  youth  ;  the  opulent  and  aristocratic  only  became  patrons  of 
the  few  select  schools  in  the  more  populous  places.  To  those  of 
the  latter  class  Washington  Academy  of  South  Kingstown,  the 
Pawcatuck  Academy,  the  Frenchtown  Catholic  Seminary  and  a 
few  others  were  early  opened  for  public  instruction  and  patron- 
"  ized  by  the  rich  mostly. 

The  different  towns,  however,  took  advantage  of  the  enact- 
ment passed  in  1800,  and  immediately  began  districting  their 
respective  territories  and  as  far  as  able  erecting  school  houses. 
In  the  year  1828  most  of  the  towns  throughout  the  state  had 
three  or  more  school  houses,  most  of  which  had  been  built  by 
■subscription.  Of  the  towns  in  Washington  and  Kent  counties. 
West  Greenwich  had  two  school  houses,  Richmond  two,  North 
Kingstown  the  Elam  Academy  and  one  school  house  besides, 
Exeter  three  school  houses.  East  Greenwich  an  academy  and  in 


all  six  school  houses,  Charlestown  one  school  house,  Coventry  ten 
school  houses,  Warwick  seven  school  houses.  Westerly  six  school 
houses  and  South  Kingstown  one  academy  and  seven  school 

From  this  time  forward  the  state  has  been  alive  to  every  in- 
terest of  the  public  school  system.  An  act  was  passed  by  the 
general  assembly  in  1845  looking  more  minutely  than  ever  before 
to  the  needed  appropriations  and  the  supervision  of  the  schools. 
Great  improvements  were  made  at  this  time  by  law  in  methods 
of  instruction,  in  text  books  to  be  used,  in  establishing  teachers' 
institutes,  in  the  appointment  of  school  inspectors,  in  the  grant- 
ing of  certificates,  etc.,  etc.;  and  from  that  tim.e  to  the  present  the 
schools  of  these  two  counties  under  the  various  enactments  of  the 
general  assembly  have  progressed  rapidly. 

Newspapers. — The  first  newspaper  printed  in  South  Kings- 
town was  the  South  County  Jotirnal,  the  initial  number  of  which 
appeared  June  12th,  1858,  in  the  village  of  Wakefield,  with  Dun- 
can Gillies  as  publisher,  and  Thomas  P.  Wells,  Isaac  M.  Church 
and  A.  G.  Palmer  as  associates.  June  11th,  1859,  the  name  of 
the  paper  was  changed  to  the  Narragansctt  Times,  and  Thomas  P. 
Wells  became  the  publisher,  Mr.  Gillies  returning  to  his  home 
in  Scotland.  April  26th,  1861,  David  Dunlop  succeeded  Mr. 
Wells  as  publisher.  June  7th,  1861,  the  Times,  which  had  been 
a  four-column  folio,  was  enlarged  to  five  columns.  In  August, 
1864,  Mr.  Gillies,  at  the  urgent  request  of  Mr.  Wells  and  others, 
returned  to  Wakefield  and  again  became  the  publisher  and  owner 
of  the  Times,  and  continued  to  conduct  its  affairs  until  the  time 
of  his  death,  which  occurred  in  August,  1881.  The  paper  was 
enlarged  several  times  by  Mr.  Gillies,  and  in  April,  1880,  his  office 
was  destroyed  by  fire,  but  no  issue  of  the  paper  was  missed. 
Work  upon  a  new  office  was  immediately  commenced,  and  dur- 
ing the  time  of  its  construction  the  paper  was  printed  in  Provi- 
dence. After  the  death  of  Mr.  Gillies  his  sons  assumed  charge  of 
the  office  and  conducted  the  business  under  the  name  of  D.  Gil- 
lies' Sons.  It  is  now  an  eight-page  paper,  with  a  good  subscription 
and  advertising  patronage.  Besides  the  weekly  a  daily  paper, 
known  as  the  Daily  Times,  is  printed  in  the  summer  time  in  the 
interest  of  Narragansett  Pier.  It  was  started  in  1880  by  Mr. 

After  the  erection  of  the  Spencer  Block  in  Phenix,  in  1849,  a 
printing  office  was  established  there  by  John  B.  Lincoln.     The 


owner  of  the  building  purchased  a  hand  press  and  type  and  other 
material,  and  rented  them  to  Mr.  Lincoln,  who  commenced  the 
publication  of  the  Kent  County  Atlas,  in  May,  1850.  The  citizens 
were  pleased  and  encouraged  the  enterprise.  Mr.  Lincoln  pos- 
sessed no  business  or  financial  ability,  and  did  not  succeed  in  ob- 
taining from  the  business  sufficient  funds  to  pay  expenses  ;  he 
was  a  good  printer,  but  beyond  that  met  with  no  success  in  man- 
aging the  business.  He  continued  at  Phenix  until  1862,  when 
the  citizens  of  East  Greenwich  purchased  the  press  and  materials, 
and  Mr.  Lincoln,  on  July  3d,  1852,  issued  the  first  number  of  the 
Kent  County  Atlas  from  East  Greenwich.  No  further  effort  was 
made  to  establish  printing  in  Phenix  until  1860,  when  Moses 
W.  Collins,  through  the  assistance  of  his  friends,  started  a  print- 
ing office,  October  15th,  1860.  November  1st,  1860,  Mr.  Collins 
issued  the  Phenix  Weekly  Journal,  with  the  following  notice :  "  To 
be  published  every  Thursday  by  Moses  W.  Collins,  Editor  and 
Proprietor.  Office  in  Spencer  Building,  Phenix.  Terms  $1  per 
year  in  advance."  Mr.  Collins  did  not  succeed  much  better  than 
Mr.  Lincoln  did.  The  paper  was  continued  in  Mr.  Collins'  name 
as  editor  and  proprietor  until  November  21st,  1861,  although  he 
was  not  attending  to  it,  and  three  papers  were  issued  without 
any  name  of  editor  or  proprietor.  The  paper  issued  December 
19th,  1861,  contained  the  name  of  Ira  O.  Seamans  as  editor  and 
proprietor.  Mr.  Seamans  continued  issuing  the  paper  until  1862, 
when  he  abandoned  the  enterprise,  and  the  owner  of  the  press 
and  type  sold  them  to  E.  L.  Freeman,  of  Central  Falls,  and  the 
village  was  again  without  a  printing  office. 

February  22d,  1876,  Reuben  E.  Capron  and  John  H.  Campbell, 
under  the  name  of  Capron  &  Campbell,  commenced  the  printing 
business  in  a  building  owned  by  Sylvester  R.  Nicholas,  near  the 
railroad  station  at  Harrisville,  and  issued  the  first  number  of  the 
Pawtuxet  Valley  Gleaner,  March  25th,  1876.  August  1st,  1878, 
Reuben  E.  Capron  sold  his  interest  in  the  printing  office  and 
newspaper  to  John  H.  Campbell,  who  continued  the  business  at 
the  same  place  until  June  14th,  1879,  when  he  removed  the  busi- 
ness near  to  the  center  of  the  village,  and  located  in  the  second 
story  in  Capron's  building,  over  the  bakery,  where  he  continued 
the  job  printing  business  >nd  the  publication  of  the  Pawtuxet 
Valley  Gleaner  until  1888.  A  building  44  by  51  feet,  three  stories 
high,  has  been  erected  by  Mr.  Campbell  on  the  opposite  side  of 
the  street,  between  the  highway  and  the  mill  pond,  which  is 


known  as  the  "  Gleaner  Building."  The  first  story  has  two  stores, 
the  second  is  occupied  by  the  Gleaner  printing  establishment 
since  June,  1888,  and  the  third  story  is  occupied  by  the  Grand 
Army  of  the  Republic. 

John  H.  Campbell,  printer  and  editor  of  the  Paivtuxet  Valley 
Gleaner,  was  born  in  Phenix,  Rhode  Island,  May  27th,  1849.  His 
father,  Neil  Campbell,  was  a  native  of  the  town  of  Johnstone, 
Renfrewshire,  Scotland,  where  his  birth  occurred  October  12th, 
1817.  He  emigrated  to  America  in  October,  1848,  and  for  a  num- 
ber of  years  resided  in  Phenix  and  vicinity,  from  which  point 
the  family  removed  to  Providence  in  1856.  In  1839  Mr.  Campbell 
married  Catherine  Hart,  who  was  born  in  Wiggin,  in  England, 
on  the  25th  of  February,  1822,  and  came  to  America  in  May,  1849. 
Their  son,  John  H.,  was  educated  in  the  public  schools  of  Provi- 
dence and  the  Mt.  Pleasant  Academy.  Choosing  journalism  as  a 
profession,  he  entered  the  office  of  the  Providence  Press  with  a 
view  to  becoming  familiar  with  the  printer's  art,  and  was  subse- 
quently made  foreman  of  the  Chronicle,  published  at  North  Attle- 
boro,  Massachusetts.  In  1876  he,  in  company  with  a  partner,  es- 
tablished the  Paivtuxet  Valley  Gleaner.  Two  years  later,  the  firm 
being  dissolved  by  the  purchase  of  his  partner's  interest,  he  be- 
came sole  owner.  With  the  exceptional  vigor  and  judgment 
evinced  in  its  management,  the  paper  now  ranks  among  the 
leading  journals  of  the  state.  Mr.  Campbell,  in  1874,  married 
Miss  Marie  Louise  Angus,  daughter  of  James  and  Mary  Louise 
Angus,  of  Mahone  Bay,  Nova  Scotia. 

In  the  year  1854  Mr.  William  N.Sherman  purchased  the  press, 
type  and  other  material  formerly  belonging  to  Mr.  Lincoln  and 
issued  at  East  Greenwich  the  first  number  of  the  Rhode  Island 
Penduluin,  on  the  27th  of  May,  1854.  Mr.  Josiah  B.  Bowditch  is 
now  proprietor  of  the  Pendiilmn. 

The  Greenwich  Enterprise  was  established  in  1879  as  the  local 
appendix  of  the  Pendnhnn,  which  was  printed  in  the  city  of  Provi- 
dence. It  was  then  a  folio  of  four  columns  only,  but  has  since 
been  enlarged  to  seven,  and  its  editor,  Thomas  C.  Brown,  has 
made  it  one  of  the  most  attractive  and  entertaining  sheets  pub- 
lished in  the  whole  county.  The  paper  continued  as  the  local 
one  for  the  older  publication  for  eight  years,  when  Mr.  Brown 
purchased  all  interests  of  the  paper,  and  made  his  first  issue  as 

AHTOTYPE,     t.    BIER6TADT,     N. 


an  independent  paper  January  6th,  1888.  The  Enterprise  is  in 
every  way  identified  with  the  people  of  East  Greenwich  and  their 
interests,  and  its  patronage  is  good.  Mr.  Brown  is  a  son  of  John 
Clark  Brown,  grandson  of  Captain  Clark  Brown  and  great- 
grandson  of  Daniel  Brown,  who  was  lost  at  sea  with  the  vessel 
"  Deborah." 

The  first  regular  newspaper  published  in  Westerly  appeared 
in  the  spring  of  1851  with  the  title  of  The  Literary  Echo.  It  was 
issued  weekly,  under  the  editorial  and  business  management  of 
Mr.  George  H.  Babcock,  now  president  of  the  Babcock  &  Wilcox 
Safety  Steam  Power  Company  in  New  York,  who  was  assisted 
and  advised  to  some  extent  by  his  father,  Mr.  Asher  M.  Babcock. 
As  indicated  in  its  title,  this  paper  combined  literary  selections 
and  local  reports,  which  was  done  in  a  way  to  give  general  satis- 
faction to  the  reading  public.  The  Echo  was  continued  seven 
years  under  the  management,  at  different  periods,  of  its  original 
proprietors  and  of  Messrs.  Edwin  G.  Champlin  and  James  H.  Hoyt. 
In  the  spring  of  1858,  the  issue  of  that  paper  having  become  irregu- 
lar, and  the  printing  material  somewhat  run  down,  the  establish- 
ment was  sold  by  Mr.  Hoyt  in  equal  halves  to  the  original  pro- 
prietors and  Mr.  John  Herbert  Utter,  a  practical  printer,  who  had 
been  for  several  years  employed  in  the  of&ce  of  The  Sabbath  Re- 
corder in  New  York  city.  On  the  26th  day  of  April,  1858,  The 
Narragansett  Weekly  was  issued  as  the  successor  of  the  Echo,  the 
title  of  the  new  firm  being  J.  H.  Utter  &  Co.  One  year  later,  the 
half  interest  of  the  original  proprietors  was  purchased  by  Mr. 
George  B.  Utter,  the  machinery  and  facilities  of  the  office  were 
greatly  increased,  and  the  general  business  of  printing  and  pub- 
lishing extended  under  the  firm  name  of  G.  B.  &  J.  H.  Utter,  in 
which  name  the  business  continued  without  interruption  for 
nearly  thirty  years,  until  the  death  of  Mr.  J.  H.  Utter,  in  October, 
1887,  when  his  interest  in  the  concern  was  purchased  by  the  sur- 
viving partner  and  passed  over  to  Mr.  George  H.  Utter  (son  of 
the  survivor  and  nephew  of  the  deceased),  and  the  firm  name  be- 
came G.  B.  &  G.  H.  Utter.  In  this  connection  it  is  proper  to  state 
that  in  the  autumn  of  1861,  The  Sabbath  Recorder  (the  weekly 
organ  of  the  Seventh-day  Baptist  denomination),  which  had  been 
published  in  New  York  city  eighteen  years,  mostly  in  charge  of 
the  senior  member  of  the  firm  of  G.  B.  &  J.  H.  Utter,  was  removed 
from  that  city  to  Westerly,  and  its  publication  was  continued 
there  by  the  firm  for  eleven  years,  until  1872,  when  "  the  sub- 


scription  list,  patronage  and  favor  "  of  that  paper  were  sold  to  the 
American  Sabbath  Tract  Society,  and  the  location  of  the  paper 
was  changed  from  Westerly  to  Alfred  Center,  N.  Y. 

George  B.  Utter,  though  not  a  native  of  Washington  county, 
is  so  direct  a  descendant  from  one  of  its  old  families,  and  has 
been  so  intimately  connected  with  its  social,  religious  and  busi- 
ness interests,  and  especially  with  its  public  press,  that  his  por- 
trait and  some  account  of  his  life  and  work  may  appropriately 
find  a  place  in  this  volume.  His  paternal  grandfather,  Abram 
Utter,  was  a  native  and  a  lifelong  resident  of  Hopkinton  City,  so 
called,  in  Washington  county,  and  his  father,  William  Utter, 
grew  up  in  that "  city,"  which  he  left  on  his  twenty-first  birthday 
to  settle  temporarily  in  New  Hartford,  Oneida  county,  N.  Y.  His 
maternal  grandfather,  Reuben  Wilcox,  was  a  native  of  Middle- 
town,  Connecticut,  which  place  he  left  when  a  young  man  to 
settle  in  Whitestown,  Oneida  county,  N.  Y.,and  there  his  mother, 
Dolly  Wilcox,  was  born,  said  to  have  been  the  first  white  child 
born  in  that  then  new  township.  In  due  time  William  Utter  and 
Dolly  Wilcox,  residing  in  adjoining  townships,  were  married, 
and  soon  afterward  took  up  their  permanent  residence  in  a  village 
some  twenty  miles  south  of  Utica,  known  as  Unadilla  Forks,  in 
Otsego  county,  and  there  the  subject  of  this  notice  was  born, 
February  4th,  1819.  Being  the  seventh  son,  his  parents,  as  was 
common  in  those  days,  early  entertained  the  idea  of  having  him 
educated  for  the  medical  profession,  and  with  that  in  view  sent 
him,  at  twelve  years  of  age,  to  the  then  popular  academy  at 
Whitesboro,  N.  Y.  But  he,  tiring  of  school,  and  desiring  more 
active  employment,  was  allowed,  a  year  or  two  later,  to  com- 
mence learning  the  trade  of  a  printer,  which  he  did  in  the  office 
of  a  weekly  religious  newspaper,  published  at  Homer,  Cortland 
county,  N.  Y.,  called  Tlie  Protestant  Sentinel.  Two  years  after  he 
entered  that  office  the  location  of  the  paper  (and  his  own  as  well) 
was  changed  from  Homer  to  Schenectady,  N.  Y.,  where  for  two 
years  he  was  quite  intimately  associated  with  several  of  the 
younger  students  in  Union  College,  and  where  he  becarrie  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Apprentices'  Library  Association,  read  many  of  its 
books,  and  took  an  active  part  in  its  private  debates  and  public 
meetings.  Having  determined  in  these  years  to  pursue  a  course 
of  classical  study,  he  entered  the  Oneida  Institute,  at  Whitesboro, 
N.  Y.,  in  the  fall  of  1836,  from  which  he  graduated,  valedictorian 
of  his  class,  in  June,  1840.     In  the  October  following  he  entered 

•  >>&* « '*.  "- 


y(Lo./§  UtteTy^ 


the  Union  Theological  Seminary  in  the  City  of  New  York,  from 
which  he  graduated  in  June,  1843. 

Three  weeks  before  graduating  from  the  seminary,  he  was 
ordained  to  the  work  of  the  gospel  ministry  at  a  meeting  of  the 
Seventh-day  Baptist  Eastern  Association,  held  in  Piscataway,  N.J., 
and  at  the  request  and  by  the  appointment  of  that  body,  he  sailed 
soon  afterward  for  England,  with  a  view  of  establishing  closer 
fraternal  relations  between  the  Seventh-day  Baptist  churches  of 
this  country  and  those  of  kindred  faith  in  that  country.  As  in- 
cidental to  this  primary  object  of  his  mission,  he  was  also  to  study 
in  the  library  of  the  British  jMuseum,  in  London,  and  in  the 
Bodleian  Library,  at  Oxford,  the  history  of  the  Sabbath  discus- 
sion in  that  country,  and  to  collect  books  on  the  subject  as  the 
nucleus  of  a  Sabbath  library  in  this  country.  After  accom- 
plishing to  a  good  degree  the  object  sought,  he  returned  to  New 
York  city  in  the  spring  of  1844,  when  he  joined  with  others  in 
establishing  a  religious  newspaper,  called  Tlie  Sabbath  Recorder, 
which  soon  became  the  recognized  organ  of  the  vSeventh-day 
Baptist  denomination.  For  more  than  twenty-five  years  he  edited 
and  published  that  paper,  at  the  same  time  taking  an  oversight 
of  the  monthly  and  quarterly  periodicals  and  the  books  and  re- 
ports of  various  kinds  published  for  circulation  in  and  by  that 

After  the  breaking  out  of  the  civil  war,  in  1861,  Mr.  Utter  hav- 
ing become  interested  in  a  printing  establishment  in  AYesterly, 
removed  to  that  place  the  New  York  periodicals  and  continued 
them  there  in  connection  with  the  publication  of  a  local  and  gen- 
eral newspaper  called  The  Narragansett  Weekly  until,  in  1872,  he 
sold  the  "subscription  list,  patronage  and  favor,"  of  The  Sabbath 
Recorder  to  a  denominational  society  wishing  to  make  that  paper 
the  nucleus  of  a  publishing  establishment  located  near  the  uni- 
versity at  Alfred  Center,  N.  Y.  Since  that  time  Mr.  Utter's  atten- 
tion has  been  given  to  the  editing  of  The  Narragansett  Weekly 
at  Westerly,  to  the  publication  of  matters  in  which  he  had  a  per- 
sonal interest,  to  official  duties  connected  with  various  benevolent 
societies  and  to  different  business  enterprises.  In  the  year  1843 
he  was  associated  with  others  in  organizing  the  Seventh-day 
Baptist  Missionary  Society,  and  for  most  of  the  time  since  he  has 
been  a  member  of  the  board  of  managers  of  that  society,  having 
served  as  its  recording  secretary  twelve  consecutive  years,  from 
1847  to  1858,  and  as  its  treasurer  for  twenty-one  consecutive  years, 


from  1862  to  1883.  To  other  benevolent  societies  of  the  denomi- 
nation -v^ith  which  he  sympathized  he  has  sustained  relations 
similar  in  kind,  though  less  intimate  and  exacting.  He  has  also 
filled  offices  of  trust  and  responsibility  for  the  community  in 
which  he  has  resided,  having  been  a  member  of  the  town  council 
of  Westerly  for  five  years,  from  1868  to  1873;  a  member  of  the  board 
of  assessors  of  the  town  for  five  years,  1876,  1877,  1878,  1882  and 
1883,  and  a  trustee  of  School  District  No.  1  of  Westerly  for  five 
consecutive  years,  from  1869  to  1874,  including  the  period  in 
which  the  Central  building  of  the  district  on  Elm  street  was 
erected,  the  graded  system  was  introduced,  and  the  debt  incurred 
by  the  district  in  enlarging  and  improving  its  educational  facili- 
ties was  fimded. 

In  February,  1884,  the  Rhode  Island  Telephone  was  moved  from 
Wickford,  R.I. ,  to  Westerly,  and  the  paper  was  thereafter  known  as 
The  Westerly  News  and  Rhode  Island  Telephone,  until  January  7th, 
1888.  J.  Warren  Gardiner,  during  that  time,  was  the  editor  and 
proprietor.  Upon  the  latter  mentioned  date,  Alva  C.  Lowrey  as- 
sumed the  charge  thereof,  changing  the  name  of  the  publication  to 
The  Westerly  Tribune.  It  continued  to  be  issued  as  a  weekly  until 
September  6th,  1888,  when  the  first  number  of  The  Westerly  Daily 
Trihme  appeared.  Since  that  time  a  daily  and  weekly  edition 
have  been  printed.  The  Daily  Tribune  has  been  well  received 
and  is  rapidly  becoming  a  prominent  factor  in  the  community. 
It  has  a  large  and  growing  circulation,  and  a  good  advertising 
patronage.  It  is  independent  in  politics,  but  pronounced  in  its 
opinions  upon  all  questions  affecting  the  public  interest.  It  was 
published  by  The  Tribune  Company,  composed  by  Thomas  H. 
Peabody  and  Alva  C.  Lowrey,  until  January  81st,  1889,  when  Mr. 
Peabody  became  sole  proprietor. 

Thomas  H.  Peabody.— The  grandparents  of  Mr.  Peabody  were 
Benjamin  and  Martha  (Peckham)  Peabody.  His  parents  were 
Francis  S.  and  Martha  A.  (Phillips)  Peabody,  of  North  Stoning- 
ton.  Conn.  Their  son,  Thomas  H.,  was  born  September  28d, 
1839,  in  North  Stonington,  where  he  continued  to  reside  until 
his  twenty-first  year,  meanwhile  pursuing  his  studies  at  the  pub- 
lic schools,  and  in  1857  at  the  East  Greenwich  Academy.  He 
was  then  for  awhile  engaged  in  teaching,  and  also  accepted  a 
clerkship,  which  he  filled  until  his  majority  was  attained.     En- 

oro.     9/    srnOFrELD    unOh- 

ARTOTYPE,     e.     aiERSTADT, 


taring  the  office  of  Messrs,  Thurston  &  Ripley,  of  Providence,  as 
a  student  at  law,  he  was,  at  the  expiration  of  his  third  year  of 
study,  admitted  in  May,  1864,  to  the  bar  of  Rhode  Island,  and 
subsequently  to  the  bar  of  Connecticut  and  that  of  the  United 
States  courts.  He  spent  twelve  months  in  the  West,  and  on  his 
return  in  1865,  opened  an  office  in  Westerly,  where  he  continued 
in  successful  practice  until  1886.  In  the  latter  year,  and  during 
an  embarrassed  condition  of  the  Stillman  Manufacturing  Com- 
pany, he  was  elected  its  treasurer.  Thereupon  he  relinquished 
his  profession  to  devote  his  attention  exclusively  to  a  settlement 
of  the  company's  affairs. 

At  the  age  of  fourteen  Mr.  Peabody  served  an  apprenticeship 
as  a  printer's  devil,  and  by  a  singular  co-incidence,  resumed  his 
connection  with  newspaper  work  many  years  later.  Circum- 
stances, in  1888,  made  him  the  owner  of  The  Westerly  Tribitne,  in 
connection  with  Alva  C.  Lowrey.  Discerning  the  fact  that  en- 
ergy and  enterprise  might  greatly  increase  the  circulation  and 
influence  of  this  paper,  they  soon  issued  a  daily  edition,  which 
has  won,  by  its  activity  and  independence,  a  strong  hold  on  the 
public.  To  this  paper  Mr.  Peabody,  as  senior  editor,  has,  since 
August  1st,  1888,  given  the  larger  share  of  his  time  and  attention. 
January  31st,  1889,  he  purchased  the  interest  of  Mr.  Lowrey  in 
the  Tribune,  thus  becoming  sole  proprietor  thereof.  As  a  law- 
yer he  took  a  leading  rank  at  the  bar  of  the  county,  and  was 
interested  in  most  of  the  important  cases  that  came  before  the 
courts.  Realizing  the  inconvenience  to  Westerly  from  the 
holding  of  the  courts  in  a  distant  part  of  the  county,  Mr.  Pea- 
body made  a  determined  effort  to  change  the  old  system.  After 
much  labor,  covering  a  period  of  seven  years,  and  great  cost  to 
himself,  he  was  ultimately  successful,  in  connection  with  Hon. 
George  Carmichael,  of  Shannock,  and  others,  in  obtaining,  April 
22d,  1881,  an  act  of  the  legislature,  by  which  four  sessions  of  the 
supreme  court  and  court  of  common  pleas  are  annually  held  in 

In  politics  the  subject  of  this  sketch  was  formerly  a  republican, 
and  now  casts  his  vote  independently  of  party  ties.  He  repre- 
sented his  town  in  the  general  assembly  in  the  years  1878-79, 
declining  a  re-election.  A  candidate  for  the  supreme  court 
bench,  he  was  not  successful,  but  received  a  flattering  vote,  and 
the  solid  support  of  his  section  of  the  state.  An  avowed  prohi- 
bitionist, he  was  nominated  by  that  party  for  governor  in  the 
spring  of  1887,  running  largely  ahead  of  the  balance  of  his  ticket, 


and  for  congress  the  following  fall.  He  has  also  held  many  local 
offices  and  been  foremost  in  the  advocacy  of  measures  tending 
to  the  improvement  and  growth  of  the  town.  He  is  one  of  the 
board  of  directors  of  the  AVesterly  Water  Works. 

Mr.  Peabody  was,  on  the  8th  of  September,  1874,  married  to 
Lucy  E.,  daughter  of  Ira  G.  Briggs,  of  Griswold,  Conn.  Both 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Peabody  are  members  of  the  First  Baptist  church 
of  Westerly. 

On  the  20th  of  February,  1886,  Mr.  E.  Anson  Stillman  issued  a 
semi-monthly  sheet,  mainly  for  advertising  purposes,  under  the 
title  of  Stillman  s  Idea,  of  which  fifty-four  numbers  were  printed, 
when  it  was  discontinued. 

On  the  19th  of  June,  1888,  the  first  number  appeared  of  a 
weekly  newspaper  called  The  Westerly  Journal,  of  which  Mr. 
Frank  H.  Campbell  was  the  editor  and  proprietor. 

In  the  summer  of  1888  twenty-six  numbers  were  issued  by  Mr. 
George  G.  Champlin  of  a  semi-weekly  paper,  under  the  title  of 
The  Surf,  having  in  view  mainly  the  reporting  and  advertising 
of  matters  of  special  interest  to  visitors  at  the  various  watering 
places  in  the  vicinity  of  Westerly. 

The  Wood  Rive?- Advertiser  yfa.s'printQdi  in  t\lQ^fil\^ige  of  Hope 
Valley,  by  L.  W.  A.  Cole.  November  1st,  1866,  a  new  era  was 
commenced  in  the  history  of  this  village  by  the  introduction  of 
a  new  press  into  the  town  by  Mr.  Cole,  and  thereafter  work  of 
this  kind  has  not  been  done  elsewhere.  January  6th,  1879,  Mr. 
Cole  so  prospered  in  business  that  he  was  induced  to  publish  a 
local  paper,  which  has  since  kept  growth  with  the  place,  and 
has  now,  under  the  management  and  able  pen  of  H.  N.  Phillips, 
become  a  recognized  power  for  good  in  the  village  and  town. 
Under  Mr.  Phillips'  ownership  the  name  of  the  paper  has  been 
changed  to  the  Sentinel- Advertiser,  and  increased  in  size  to  a  folio 
of  seven  columns. 

The  Wiekford  Standard  is  the  youngest  paper  in  Rhode  Island. 
It  was  established  in  the  summer  of  1888,  by  Claude  Gardiner, 
publisher,  under  the  editorial  charge  and  management  of  James 
H.  Coggeshall.  It  is  a  folio  of  five  columns,  printed  with  new 
type,  on  good  paper,  and  is  meeting  the  expectations  of  the  peo- 
ple of  North  Kingstown  very  satisfactorily.  It  is  well  gotten  up 
and  well  arranged,  and  has  become  so  firmly  established  as  a 
first-class  local  family  newspaper,  that  there  is  no  doubt  that  its 
life  in  the  village  of  Wiekford  will  be  a  long  and  prosperous  one. 



Revolutionary  Period.— Original  Causes  of  the  War. — Destruction  of  the  British 
Vessels  "Liberty"  and  "  Gaspee."— Forces  Raised  by  the  Various  Towns.— 
Reminiscences  of  the  Sanguinary  Conflict.— Kentish  Guards.— The  Capture 
of  Major-General  Prescott. — Colonel  Christopher  Greene.— Major-General 
Nathaniel  Greene.— The  Dorr  Rebellion.— The  Civil  War. 

THE  uninterrupted  quiet  and  prosperity  the  two  counties  of 
Washington  and  Kent  had  enjoyed  was  now  to  give  place 
to  the  turmoil  which  necessarily  precedes  war.  New  in- 
dustries gave  way  to  a  languid  business,  and  instead  of  the  people 
being  able  to  follow  the  avocations  incident  to  peaceful  and  pros- 
perous times,  the  depths  of  society  were  stirred  by  the  adverse 
winds  of  political  opinion. 

Though  the  plan  for  a  federal  union  of  the  colonies  at  Albany 
in  1754  failed  of  adoption,  yet  the  novel  idea  was  made  apparent 
a  few  years  subsequently,  and  eventually  culminated  in  the  act 
that  rendered  the  fourth  of  Jul}?,  1776,  a  day  memorable  in  the 
annals  of  the  world. 

In,  1764  the  celebrated  stamp  act  was  passed,  lev3dng  a  duty  on 
all  paper  used  f^r  instruments  of  writing,  etc.,  and  declaring  all 
such  writings  on  unstamped  material  to  be  null  and  void.  A  duty 
•on  glass,  leads,  paints  and  paper,  and  an  import  duty  of  three 
pence  a  pound  on  tea,  were  proposed. 

On  the  arrival  of  the  news  of  the  stamp  act,  the  people  were 
much  excited.  In  July,  1769,  "  the  British  armed  sloop  '  Liberty,' 
Captain  William  Reid,  cruising  in  Long  Island  sound  and  Narra- 
gansett  bay  in  search  of  contraband  traders,  had  needlessly  an- 
noyed all  the  coasting  craft  that  came  in  her  way.  Two  Connec- 
ticut vessels,  a  brig  and  a  sloop,  were  brought  into  Newport  on 
.suspicion  of  smuggling.  An  altercation  ensued  between  the  cap- 
tain of  the  brig  and  some  of  the  '  Liberty's '  crew,  in  which  the 
former  was  maltreated  and  his  boat  fired  upon  from  the  vessel. 
The  same  evening  the  people  obliged  Reid,  while  on  the  wharf. 


to  order  all  his  men,  except  the  first  officer,  to  come  on  shore  and 
answer  for  their  conduct.  A  party  then  boarded  the  '  Liberty,' 
sent  the  officers  on  shore,  cut  the  cable  and  grounded  the  sloop  at 
the  Point.  There  they  cut  away  the  mast  and  scuttled  the  ves- 
sel, and  then  carried  her  boats  to  the  upper  end  of  the  town  and 
burnt  them.  This  was  the  first  overt  act  of  violence  offered  to 
the  British  authorities  in  this  state.  The  two  prizes  escaped. 
This  was  followed  by  various  acts  of  resistance  of  minor  import- 
ance, all  of  which  tended  to  the  same  result  that  eventually  tran- 

For  several  years  previous  to  the  actual  outbreak  of  the  war 
much  trouble  had  been  occasioned  by  an  illicit  trade  carried  on 
by  vessels  along  the  coast,  which  induced  the  commissioners  of 
customs  to  place  armed  vessels  to  guard  the  coast. 

It  was  soon  after  this  that  the  destruction  of  the  "  Gaspee  " 
took  place  on  the  Warwick  coast,  and  the  first  Tory  blood  shed 
in  connection  with  the  revolutionary  war.  The  details  of  this 
affair  are  best  given  in  a  statement  made  in  1839  by  Colonel 
Ephraim  Bowen,  who  was  concerned  in  the  affair  and  was  prob- 
ably the  last  survivor  of  the  little  band  :  "  In  the  year  1772,  the 
British  government  had  stationed  at  Newport,  Rhode  Island,  a 
sloop  of  war,  with  her  tender,  the  schooner  called  the  '  Gaspee,' 
of  eight  guns,  commanded  by  William  Duddingston,  a  lieutenant 
in  the  British  navy,  for  the  purpose  of  preventing  the  clandestine 
landing  of  articles  subject  to  the  payment  of  duty.  The  captain 
of  this  schooner  made  it  his  practice  to  stop  and  board  all  vessels 
entering  or  leaving  the  ports  of  Rhode  Island,  or  leaving  New- 
port for  Providence.  On  the  10th  day  of  June,  1772,  Captain 
Thomas  Lindsey  left  Newport,  in  his  packet,  for  Providence, 
about  noon,  with  the  wind  at  north  ;  and  soon  after  the  '  Gaspee "" 
was  under  sail  in  pursuit  of  Lindsey,  and  continued  the  chase  as 
far  as  Namcut  Point,  which  runs  off  from  the  farm  in  Warwick, 
about  seven  miles  below  Providence,  and  is  now  owned  by  Mr. 
John  B.  Francis,  our  late  governor.  Lindsey  was  standing  east- 
erly, with  the  tide  on  ebb,  about  two  hours,  when  he  hove  about 
at  the  end  of  Namcut  Point,  and  stood  to  the  westward  and  Dud- 
dingston, in  close  chase,  changed  his  course  and  ran  on  the  Point 
near  its  end  and  grounded.  Lindsey  continued  on  his  course  up 
the  river  and  arrived  at  Providence  about  sunset,  when  he  im- 
mediately informed  Mr.  John  Brown,  one  of  our  first  and  most 
respectable  merchants, of  the  situation  of  the  'Gaspee.'     He  im- 


mediately  concluded  that  she  would  remain  immovable  till  after- 
midnight,  and  that  now  an  opportunity  offered  of  putting-  an  end 
to  the  trouble  and  vexation  she  daily  caused.  Mr.  Brown  imme- 
diately resolved  on  her  destruction,  and  he  forthwith  directed  one. 
of  his  trusty  shipmasters  to  collect  eight  of  the  largest  long  boats, 
in  the  harbor,  with  five  oars  each,  to  have  the  oars  and  oar  locks, 
muffled  to  prevent  noise,  and  to  place  them  at  Fenner's  wharf,, 
directly  opposite  the  dwelling  of  Mr.  James  Sabin,  who  kept  ai 
house  of  board  and  entertainment  for  gentlemen,  being  the  same^ 
house  purchased  a  few  years  later  by  Welcome  Arnold,  one  of 
our  enterprising  merchants,  and  is  now  owned  by  and  is  the  res- 
idence of  Colonel  Richard  J.  Arnold,  his  son. 

"  About  the  time  of  the  shutting  of  the  shops,  soon  after  sun- 
set, a  man  passed  along  the  Main  street,  beating  a  drum,  and  in- 
formed the  inhabitants  of  the  fact  that  the '  Gaspee  '  was  aground 
on  Namcut  Point,  and  would  not  float  off  until  three  o'clock  the 
next  morning,  and  inviti'ng  those  persons  who  felt  a  disposition 
to  go  and  destroy  that  troublesome  vessel,  to  repair  in  the  even- 
ing to  Mr.  James  Sabin's  house.  About  9  o'clock  I  took  my 
father's  gun  and  my. powder  horn  and  bullets  and  went  to  Mr.. 
Sabin's  house,  and  found  the  southeast  room  full  of  people,  when, 
I  loaded  my  gun,  and  all  remained  there  till  about  10  o'clock, 
some  casting  bullets  in  the  kitchen  and  others  making  arrange-- 
ments  for  departure ;  when  orders  were  given  to  cross  the  street, 
to  Fenner's  wharf  and  embark,  which  soon  took  place,  and  a  sea- 
captain  acted  as  steersman  of  each  boat,  of  whom  I  recollect  .Cap- 
tain Abraham  Whipple,  Captain  John  B.  Hopkins  (with  whom  I 
embarked),  and  Captain  Benjamin  Dunn.  A  line  from  right  to> 
left  was  soon  formed,  with  Captain  Whipple  on  the  right,  and 
Captain  Hopkins  on  the  right  of  the  left  wing.  The  party  thus 
proceeded  till  within  about  sixty  yards  of  the  '  Gaspee,'  when  a 
sentinel  hailed,  '  Who  comes  there  ? '  No  answer.  He  hailed 
again  and  no  answer.  In  about  a  minute  Duddingston  mounted*, 
the  starboard  gunwale  in  his  shirt  and  hailed, '  Who  comes  there  ? ' 
No  answer.  He  hailed  again,  when  Captain  Whipple  answered 
as  follows  :  '  I  am  the  sheriff  of  the  county  of  Kent  *  *  *  ;  I 
have  got  a  warrant  to  apprehend  you  '"'  *  *  ;  so  surrender 
■*  *  *  .'I  took  my  seat  on  the  main  thwart  near  the  larboard 
row-lock,  with  my  gun  by  my  right  side  and  facing  forwards.  As. 
soon  as  Duddingston  began  to  hail,  Joseph  Bucklin,  who  was 
standing  on  the  main  thwart,  said  to  me,  '  Eph,  reach  me  your 


gun,  I  can  kill  that  fellow?'  I  reached  it  to  him  accordingly, 
when,  during  Captain  Whipple's  replying,  Bucklin  fired  and  Dud- 
dingston  fell,  and  Bucklin  exclaimed  :  '  I  have  killed  the  rascal ! ' 
In  less  than  a  minute  after  Captain  Whipple's  answer,  the  boats 
were  alongside  of  the  '  Gaspee,'  and  she  was  boarded  without  op- 
position. The  men  on  deck  retreated  below,  as  Duddingston  en- 
tered the  cabin.  As  it  was  discovered  that  he  was  wounded, 
John  Mawney,  who  had  for  two  or  three  years  been  studying 
physic  and  surgery,  was  ordered  to  go  into  the  cabin  and  dress 
Duddington's  wound  and  I  was  directed  to  assist  him.  On  exam- 
ination it  was  found  that  the  ball  took  effect  about  five  inches 
directly  below  the  navel.  Duddingston  called  for  Mr.  Dickinson 
to  produce  bandages  and  other  necessaries,  for  dressing  the 
wound,  and  when  finished,  orders  were  given  to  the  schooners 
company  to  collect  their  clothing  and  everything  that  belonged 
to  them,  and  put  them  into  the  boats,  as  all  of  them  were  to  be 
sent  ashore..  All  were  soon  collected  and  put  on  board  the  boats, 
including  one  of  our  boats.  They  departed  and  landed  Dudding- 
ston at  the  old  still-house  wharf  at  Pawtuxet,  and  put  the  chief 
into  the  house  of  Joseph  Rhodes.  Soon  after  all  the  party  were 
ordered  to  depart,  leaving  one  boat  for  the  leaders  of  the  expedi- 
tion, who  soon  set  the  vessel  on  fire,  which  consumed  her  to  the 
water's  edge. 

"  The  names  of  the  most  conspicuous  of  the  party  are,  Mr. 
John  Brown,  Captain  Abraham  Whipple,  John  B.  Hopkins,  Ben- 
jamin Dunn,  and  five  others  whose  names  I  have  forgotten,  and 
John  Mawney,  Benjamin  Page,  Joseph  Bucklin  and  Turpin  Smith, 
my  youthful  companions,  all  of  whom  are  dead,  I  believe  every 
man  of  the  party  excepting  myself ;  and  my  age  is  eighty-six, 
this  twenty-ninth  day  of  August,  eighteen  hundred  and  thirty- 

It  is  difficult  at  this  late  day  to  obtain  full  and  accurate  accounts 
of  the  military  forces  furnished  for  the  war  in  any  particular 
portion  of  the  state.  The  forces  were  necessarily  blended  with 
the  army  of  the  country.  It  is  certain,  however,  that  the  heart 
of  this  region  throbbed  strongly  and  warmly  in  the  patriotic 

The  enemy  captured  Block  Island,  and  also  the  island  of  Rhode 
Island,  which  they  held  till  1779.  Marauding  and  plundering 
expeditions  were  frequent  along  the  shores,  and  the  two  counties 
in  particular  were  thoroughly  aroused  to  action. 


Of  the  militia,  in  1776,  Joshua  Babcock,  of  Westerly,  was  ma- 
jor general;  Joseph  Noyes,  colonel ;  Jesse  Champlain,  lieutenant 
colonel ;  Jesse  Maxson,  major.  Of  the  three  regiments  compris- 
ing the  Rhode  Island  Brigade  the  one  for  Kent  and  Kings  coun- 
ties was  placed  under  the  command  of  Colonel  James  Varnum, 
with  Christopher  Greene  as  major. 

By  taking  the  muster  roll  of  military  companies  with  their  of- 
ficers at  different  times  we  may  form  some  accurate  idea  of  the 
forces  sent  from  these  two  counties.  In  1777  Captain  Samuel 
Champlain  commanded  the  guard  stationed  on  the  seashore  as  a 
defense  against  the  British  barges.  Colonel  John  Waterman,  of 
Warwick,  in  January,  1777,  commanded  the  regiment  which  drove 
the  British  from  the  island  of  Prudence,  at  the  time  Wallace 
landed  and  burnt  the  houses  upon  the  island. 

Muster  and  size  roll  of  recruits  enlisted  for  the  town  of  War- 
wick for  the  campaign  of  1782 :  Henry  Straight,  Rhodes  Tucker, 
Daniel  Hudson,  George  Westcott,  George  Parker,  Caleb  Mathews, 
Nathaniel  Peirce,  Benjamin  Howard,  Benjamin  Utter,  Stephen 
Davis,  Anthony  Church,  Abel  Bennet,  James  Brown. 

Officers  of  the  Pawtuxet  Rangers  for  1776  were  :  Benjamin  Ar- 
nold, captain  ;  Oliver  Arnold,  first  lieutenant ;  Sylvester  Rhodes, 
second  lieutenant,  and  James  Sheldon,  ensign. 

Officers  of  the  Kentish  Guards  for  1776  were  :  Richard  Frye, 
captain ;  Hopkins  Cooke,  first  lieutenant ;  Thomas  Holden, 
second  lieutenant,  and  Sylvester  Greene,  ensign. 

Field  officers  of  the  state  for  Kent  county  for  the  year  1780  : 
Thomas  Holden,  colonel  of  the  First  Regiment  of  militia  ;  Thomas 
Tillinghast,  lieutenant  colonel ;  Job  Peirce,  major.  Archibald 
Kasson,  colonel  vSecond  Regiment  of  militia;  Thomas  Gorton, 
lieutenant  colonel ;  Isaac  Johnson,  major. 

Officers  to  command  the  several  trained  bands  or  companies  of 
militia  within  the  state  :  For  Warzvick. — First  Company. — Job 
Randall,  captain ;  James  Arnold,  lieutenant ;  James  Carder,  en- 
sign. Second  Company. — Squire  Miller,  captain  ;  James  Jerauld, 
lieutenant;  John  Stafford,  ensign.  Third  Company. — Thomas 
Rice,  son  of  Thomas  Rice,  captain ;  Anthony  Holden,  lieuten- 
ant ;  Stukely  Stafford,  ensign. 

In  1777  the  Artillery  Company  of  Westerly,  Hopkinton  and 
Charlestown  counted  "Augustus  Stanton,  captain;  Thomas  Noyes, 
first  lieutenant ;  William  Gardner,  second  lieutenant ;  Charles 
Crandall,  ensign." 


JVcster/j,  besides  being  represented  in  the  coast  guard  and  ar- 
tillery, had  three  militia  companies,  officered  as  follows  :  "  First 
Company :  John  Pendleton,  captain  ;  Ephraim  Pendleton,  lieu- 
.tenant ;  Simeon  Pendleton,  ensign.  Second  Company :  John 
'Gavitt,  captain;  Stephen  Saunders,  lieutenant ;  William  Bliven, 
■ensign.  Third  Company:  George  Stillman,  captain;  Peleg 
.Saunders,  lieutenant ;  Asa  Maxson,  ensign." 

In  CharUstoivn.—"  First  Company  :  John  Parks,  captain  ;  Gid- 
•eonHoxie,  Jr.,  lieutenant;  Christopher  Babcock,  ensign.  Second 
Company :  Amos  Greene,  captain  ;  Beriah  Lewis,  lieutenant ; 
Daniel  Stafford,  ensign." 

In  Richmond.— ''W\xsX  Company  :  Richard  Bailey,  Jr.,  captain  ; 
John  Woodmansie,  lieutenant ;  Joshua  Webb,  ensign.  Second 
■Company :  John  Clarke,  captain  ;  Jeremiah  Tefft,  lieutenant ; 
Pardon  Tefft,  ensign." 

In  Hopkiiiton. — "  First  Company  :  Henry  Welles,  captain  ;  Syl- 
vanus  Maxson,  lieutenant ;  Thomas  Welles,  Jr.,  ensign.  Second 
Company:  George  Thurston,  Jr.,  captain;  Randall  Welles, 
lieutenant ;  Joseph  Thurston,  ensign.  Third  Company :  Jesse 
Burdick,  captain  ;  Uriah  Crandall,  lieutenant ;  Lebbeus  Cottrell, 

In  the  "Alarm  Company"  of  Hopkinton,  for  1779  we  find, 
"Thomas  Wells,  2d,  captain  ;  Elias  Coon,  first  lieutenant;  John 
Pierce,  second  lieutenant ;  John  Brown,  ensign." 

For  the  "  Alarm  Company  "  of  Westerly,  in  the  same  year,  we 
find,  "  Joseph  Maxson,  first  lieutenant  ;  Peleg  Barber,  second 
lieutenant ;  Silas  Greenman,  ensign."  And  of  field  officers  in 
this  region  we  find,  "  Joseph  Stanton,  Jr.,  colonel ;  Jesse  Maxson, 
Esq.,  lieutenant-colonel ;  Joseph  Pendleton,  Esq.,  Jonathan  Max- 
;son,  Esq.,  majors." 

In  1781  Westerly  enrolled  "  four  companies  of  militia,"  besides 
her  quota  in  the  continental  battalions ;  the  whole  must  have 
.absorbed  one  fifth  of  her  population,  for  in  1777  the  town  num- 
bered 1,812  inhabitants.  In  Hopkinton,  in  one  district,  there  was 
scarcely  a  man,  save  the  aged  fathers,  remaining  to  assist  these 

In  Westerly  various  committees  were  appointed  to  look  after 
unpatriotic  people  engaged  in  speculating  and  raising  prices, 
•contrary  to  the  act  provided. 

Nathan  Babcock  was  appointed  to  secure  materials  for  an  am- 
:inunition  cart. 


Captain  Joseph  Pendleton  was  a  recruiting  officer,  January 
:30th,  1778,  to  collect  the  stockings  that  "are  still  deficient  to 
serve  the  soldiers." 

Colonel  James  Back,  June  3d,  1777,  was  chosen  captain  of  the 
Train  Artillery;  Peleg  Pendleton,  lieutenant  of  said  train. 

July  7th,  1780,  the  town  voted  "  Three  Gallons  of  Rum  to  treat 
the  soldiers  enlisted  and  to  encourage  those  that  had  a  mind  to 

March  8th,  1782,  the  town  voted  a  "  Bounty  of  Thirty  Silver 
Dollars  to  each  soldier  enlisting  to  fill  the  Town's  quota." 

Not  only  did  the  brave-hearted  women  of  that  day  turn  their 
earnest  hands  to  the  distaff,  loom  and  needle,  but  they  rose  up  to 
■■do  all  home  duties.  They  conducted  the  dairy ;  they  managed 
horses,  cattle  and  flocks ;  they  even  grasped  the  plow  and  the 
;  sickle.  During  one  season,  as  nearly  all  the  men  were  absent, 
watching  the  coast,  besieging  the  enemy  at  Newport,  marching 
to  distant  fields  of  action,  the  women  organized  themselves  into 
a  band  to  gather  in  the  harvests.    They  would  complete  the  work 

■  of  one  farm  and  then  pass  on  to  another. 

Watch  Hill  was  the  point  of  lookout.    This  promontory  was  so 
named  from  a  "watch  tower"  and  "  signal  station  "  built  there, 

■  on  Bear  hill,  during  the  old  French  war.    The  old  signal  was  fire 
.  and  smoke — smoke  by  day  and  fire  by  night.     This  watch  tower 

was  renewed  in  the  revolution  by  "  the  guard  "  of  the  coast,  look- 
ing out  for  British  ships  and  barges.    Napatree  Point  (Naps  and 
Tree  Point)  was  then  covered  with  thick  woods,  and  offered  an 
•  opportunity  for  the  enemy  to  land  and  conceal  a  force.     Indeed, 
it  is  reported  that  the  neck  of  land  leading  to  the  Naps  was  so 
.broad  that  it  contained  a  swamp  and  pond  that  served  as  a  haunt 
ifor  foxes.   The  roots  of  the  ancient  trees,  now  far  from  the  shore, 
.are  frequently  torn  up  by  the  waves  in  heavy  gales.    This  is  also 
true  of  the  shore  on  the  east  side  of  Watch  Hill. 

During  the  war  of  the  revolution  two  English  ships  of  the  line, 

■  on  their  way  westward,  were  overtaken  by  a  northeast  gale,  and, 
running  in  toward  the  land,  came  to  anchor  near  Watch  Hill,  and 
there  hoped  to  outride  the  storm.     They  were  the  "  Cayenne  " 

.and  "  Colodon."  The  " Cayenne,"  the  smaller  of  the  two, by  cut- 
;ting  away  her  masts  held  her  ground.  The  "  Colodon  "  rode  so 
heavily  that  she  burned  and  broke  her  hawser,  and  then  drove 
before  the  gale,  blinded  by  the  snow,  and  struck  on  Shagwang 
reef,  and  was  dashed  on  the  east  point  of  Fort  Pond  bay,  Long 


Island.  That  point  is  now  known  as  Colodon  point.  The  huge 
anchor  of  this  man-of-war  was  secured  by  Mr.  Hezekiah  Wilcox 
and  his  sons. 

The  Patriots  of  Hopkinton,  R.  /.,  i7'/'^.— "  Hopkinton,  Sept.  19, 
A.  D.,  1776.  I,  the  subscriber,  do  solemnly  and  sincerely  declare 
that  I  believe  the  War,  Resistance  and  Opposition  in  which  the 
United  American  Colonies  are  Engaged  against  the  Fleets  and 
Armies  of  Great  Britain,  is  on  the  part  of  the  said  Colonies  Just 
and  necessary  ;  and  that  I  will  not  directly  or  indirectly  afford 
assistance  of  any  sort  or  kind  whatever  to  the  said  Fleets  and 
Armies  during  the  continuance  of  the  present  war,  but  that  I 
will  heartily  assist  in  the  defence  of  the  United  Colonies. 

"  Daniel  Coon,  Joshua  Clarke,  John  Larkin,  Amos  Maxson, 
John  Coon,  Thomas  West,  George  Thurston,  Edward  Wells, 
Francis  West,  Zacheus  Reynolds,  Jr.,  William  Thurston,  Samuel 
Hill,  Benjamin  Randall,  Benjamin  Maxson,  John  Maxson,  Robert 
Burdick,  Mathew  Randall,  David  Coon,  William  Witter,  Samuel 
Reynolds,  Jesse  Maxson,  Samuel  Champlin,  Phineas  Maxson, 
Hezekiah  Babcock,  William  Coon,  Jr.,  Elisha  Stillman,  Caleb 
Potter,  Elisha  Coon,  Joseph  Maxson,  Nathaniel  Kenyon,  Ben- 
jamin Colegrove,  Stephen  Potter,  Joshua  Coon,  Ebenezer  Hill, 
Thomas  Wells,  Abel  Tanner,  John  Robinson,  Jun.,  Lawton  Pal- 
mer, Thomas  Potter  Gardiner,  Eleazer  Lewis,  John  Marshall, 
Benjamin  Kenyon,  William  Tanner,  Jr.,  Joseph  Witter,  Jr., 
Peter  Kenyon,  Mathew  Maxson,  Jonathan  Coon,  Stephen 
Maxson,  William  Coon,  William  Greene,  William  Bassett, 
William  Tanner,  Thompson  Wells,  Sylvanus  Maxson,  James 
Wells,  Jun.,  Clarke  Maxson,  Caleb  Church,  Elnathan  Wells, 
Zellenius  Burdick,  Josiah  Witter,  Nathan  Burdick,  Peter  Ken- 
yon, Jr.,  John  Cottrell,  Hubbard  Burdick,  Francis  Tanner, 
Moses  Barber,  Paul  Burdick,  Nathan  Tanner,  Parker  Burdick, 
Moses  Hall,  Jacob  Hall,  Joseph  Witter,  Rufus  Burdick,  Abel  Bur- 
dick, Daniel  Peckham,  Jr.,  Jonathan  Wells,  Jr.,  William  Burdick, 
Jr.,  Asa  Eaglestone,  Jonathan  West,  John  Brown,  Elnathan  Bur- 
dick, Amos  Palmer,  Jun.,  Nathan  Palmiter,  Uriah  Saunders, 
Elisha  Wells,  Nathaniel  Burdick,  Peleg  Maxson,  Stephen  R. 
Burdick,  Bryant  Cartwright,  Jesse  Burdick,  Waite  Burdick,  Josiah 
Collins,  John  Vellett,  Joseph  Thurston,  William  Papple,  Henry 
Clarke,  William  Needham,  Francis  Robinson,  Samuel  Button, 
Jr.,  Samuel  Lewis,  Barker  Wells,  Peter  Wells,  John  Millard, 
Amos  Langworthy,  James  Braman,  Hezekiah  Carpenter,  John 


Palmer,  David  Davis,  Daniel  Peckham,  Jr.,  Ross  Coon,  Stephen 
Crandall,  Oliver  Davis,  Simeon  Babcock,  Samuel  Longworthy, 
Zebbius  Sweet,  Timothy  Larkm,  John  Hall,  Jr.,  Amos  Button, 
Bryant  Cartwright,  Jr.,  Rouse  Babeock,  Asa  Miner,  Clarke  Rey- 
nolds, John  Braman,  Samuel  Witter,  Samuel  Babcock,  Isaiah 
Maxson,  Henry  Foster,  William  White,  James  Kinyon,  John 
Maxson,  Jr.,  Jonathan  Rogers,  Joseph  Barber,  John  Randall, 
John  Satterly,  Ichabod  Paddock,  Jeffrey  Champlin,  James  Fry, 
Cyrus  Button,  Thomas  Cottrell,  Fones  Palmer,  Benjamin  Rath- 
bun,  Josiah  Hill,  Phineas  Edwards,  Thomas  Wells,  Jr.,  Billings 
Burch,  John  Brown,  Henry  Wells,  Joseph  Cole,  Jr.,  Amos  Coon, 
Hezekiah  Babcock,  Sr.,  Israel  Stiles,  Thomas  Barber,  Peleg  Bar- 
ber, David  Davis,  Jr.,  Elias  Coon,  Gideon  AUin,  Josias  Lillibridge, 
Joshua  Wells,  Jr.,  Joseph  Crandall,  Elijah  Crandall,  Joseph  Long- 

"  The  aforegoing  is  a  true  account  of  those  that  subscribed  the 
Test  in  the  town  of  Hopkinton. 

"  Abel  Tanner,  Town  Clerk." 

Incidents  of  the  Revolution. — The  revolution,  was  the 
vindication  of  principles.  The  people  of  Westerly  rose  up  to 
maintain  their  inalienable  rights,  and  in  resisting  the  tyranny 
of  their  oppressors  suffered  grievously.  In  that  historic  scene 
Westerly  nobly  avowed  her  sentiments,  and  her  military  honors 
were  worthily  won.  Among  those  most  prominent  in  that  con- 
test was  Governor  Samuel  Ward,  son  of  Governor  Edward  Ward, 
of  Newport.  He  was  born  in  Newport,  May  37th,  1725  ;  gradu- 
ated at  Harvard  College  in  1 743  ;  married  Anna  Ray,  of  Block 
Island,  at  the  age  of  twenty,  and  removed  to  Westerly.  He  was 
chosen  governor  three  times — in  1762,  in  1765  and  in  1766. 

From  the  skillful  pen  of  Frederick  Denison,  in  "  Westerly  and 
Its  Witnesses,"  we  extract  the  following  : 

"The  tide  of  party  politics  ran  high  in  the  colony  on  account 
of  the  popularity  of  the  two  leaders.  Ward  and  Hopkins.  It  was 
also  the  exciting  period  of  the  stamp  act,  the  beginning  of  irre- 
concilable differences  with  the  mother  country.  Governor  Sam- 
uel Ward  acted  a  cool,  noble  part  in  resisting  the  aggressions  of 
England.  The  papers  that  emanated  from  his  pen  are  among 
our  cherished  records.  At  the  opening  of  the  revolution,  in 
1774,  he  was  chosen  by  the  colony  as  colleague  of  Stephen  Hop- 
kins, to  represent  Rhode  Island  in  the  first  continental  congress 
at  Philadelphia.     To  this  office  he  was  reappointed  in  1775,  and 


while  in  the  laborious  discharge  of  his  duty  died  in  Philadelphia, 
March  25th,  1776,  deeply  mourned  by  congress  as  by  his  native 
colony.  At  the  time  of  his  death,  Governor  Ward  was  attended 
by  his  faithful  body  servant  and  slave,  Cudjo,  who,  in  returning 
to  Westerly,  brought  on  safely  his  master's  papers  and  personal 
effects.  Cudjo's  wife,  also  a  slave,  was  named  Pegg  Ward.  From 
an  old  family  paper,  executed  in  reference  to  Cudjo's  support  by 
Governor  Ward's  heirs,  we  find  that  this  faithful  servant  was 
living  as  late  as  1806,  and  was  under  the  care  and  protection  of 
Oliver  Wilcox. 

"  Samuel  Ward,  2d  (son  of  Governor  Samuel  Ward),  born  in 
Westerly,  November  17th,  1756  ;  graduated  at  Brown  University 
in  1771  ;  joined  the  Rhode  Island  army  of  observation,  and  rose 
to  a  captaincy  in  1775.  He  joined  the  forces  besieging  Boston. 
In  September  of  the  same  year,  at  the  head  of  a  company,  he 
connected  himself  with  the  daring  and  perilous  expedition,  un- 
der General  Arnold,  that  marched  against  Quebec.  In  a  letter, 
under  date  of  November  26th,  1775,  when  near  the  city,  he  says: 
'  We  have  gone  up  one  of  the  most  rapid  rivers  in  the  world, 
where  the  water  was  so  shoal  that,  moderately  speaking,  we  have 
waded  100  miles.  We  were  thirty  days  in  a  wilderness  that  none 
but  savages  ever  attempted  to  pass.  We  marched  100  miles  upon 
short  three  days'  provisions,  waded  over  three  rapid  rivers, 
marched  through  snow  and  ice  barefoot,  passed  over  the  St.  Law- 
rence when  it  was  guarded  by  the  enemy's  frigates,  and  are  now 
about  twenty -four  miles  from  the  city,  to  recruit  our  worn  out 
natures.'  In  the  attack  on  the  city,  Captain  Ward,  with  most 
of  his  company,  penetrated  the  first  barrier,  but  was  finally 

"  He  was  exchanged  in  1776,  and  on  the  1st  of  January,  1777, 
was  commissioned  as  major  under  Colonel  C.  Greene.  He  co- 
operated in  the  gallant  defense  of  the  fort  at  Red  B^nk,  and  in 
the  same  year  was  aid-de-camp  to  General  Washington.  In  1778 
he  acted  in  defense  of  Rhode  Island,  under  Generals  Greene, 
Lafayette  and  Sullivan.  Here  he  once  commanded  a  regiment, 
and  was  commissioned  lieutenant-colonel,  to  take  rank  from  May 
1st,  1778.  After  this  he  was  in  Washington's  army  in  New  Jer- 
sey, '  in  the  toil  and  glory  of  that  service.'  He  was  present  at 
the  defense  of  the  bridge  at  Springfield,  by  a  part  of  the  Rhode 
Island  line,  against  the  Hessian  general,  Knyphausen,  in  June, 


"  At  the  close  of  the  war  he  turned  to  the  pursuits  of  peace, 
and  became  a  distinguished  merchant,  going  abroad  for  a  few 
years,  and  finally  settling  in  New  York.  For  a  time,  after  ac- 
quiring a  competence,  he  owned  a  farm  and  lived  at  East  Green- 
wich, but  at  last  went  to  Jamaica,  L.  I.,  where,  near  his  children, 
and  in  the  midst  of  honors,  he  spent  the  remainder  of  his  days. 
His  death  occurred  in  New  York,  August  16th,  1832,  in  his  sev- 
enty-sixth year. 

"  His  wife,  Phebe  (Greene)  Ward,  born  March  11th,  1760,  died 
in  October,  1828.     Colonel  Ward  left  a  gifted  family. 

"  Worthy  of  conspicuous  and  enduring  record  are  the  noble 
sentiments  expressed  by  the  freemen  of  Westerly  in  the  begin- 
ning of  1774,  at  a  meeting  which  '  was  the  largest  ever  held  in 
the  town,  and  not  a  dissenting  vote.'  We  quote  from  the 
records : — 

"  '  At  a  town  meeting  specially  called,  and  held  at  the  dwelling- 
house  of  Major  Edward  Bliven,  in  Westerly,  in  the  County  of 
Kings,  February  2d,  A.  D.  1774. 

"  '  The  Honorable  Samuel  Ward,  Esq.,  chosen  Moderator. 

"  '  The  Moderator  and  several  other  gentlemen  laid  before  the 
meeting  the  vast  importance  of  civil  and  religious  liberty  to  so- 
ciety, and  then  stated  the  natural  and  constitutional  rights  and 
privileges  of  the  Colonists,  and  the  many  infringements  of  those 
rights  by  several  acts  of  Parliament  for  raising  a  revenue  in 
America,  and  other  constitutional  purposes :  upon  which  the 
Moderator  and  Joshua  Babcock,  Esq.,  Mr.  James  Rhodes,  Col. 
Wm.  Pendleton,  Mr.  Geo.  Sheffield,  Oliver  Crary,  Esq.,  and  Capt. 
Benj.  Parke  were  appointed  a  committee  to  take  the  important 
subjects  before  the  meeting  into  their  consideration,  and  report 
as  soon  as  may  be,  what  measures  will  be  proper  for  the  town  to 
take  in  the  present  alarming  situation  of  the  Colonies.  The 
meeting  was  adjourned  for  a  few  hours,  and  the  freemen  being 
again  assembled,  the  committee  reported  the  following  resolves, 
all  of  which  were  unanimously  received  and  voted  : — 

"  '  1st,  Resolved,  That  our  ancestors,  being  oppressed  in  their 
native  country,  and  denied  the  liberty  of  worshiping  God  ac- 
cording to  the  dictates  of  their  consciences,  had  a  natural  and 
just  right  to  emigrate  from  Britain  to  this  or  any  other  part  of 
the  world. 

"'2d.  That  upon  their  arrival  in  America,  they  found  the 
country  in  the  actual  possession  of  the  Indian  natives,  who  had 


the  sole  and  absolute  jurisdiction  of  the  same,  and  a  perfect 
and  exclusive  right  and  property  in  the  soil  and  in  its  produce  of 
every  kind. 

"  '  3d.  That  they  purchased  the  soil,  and  with  it  the  jurisdiction 
of  the  country,  of  the  Sachems,  the  then  sole  lords  and  proprie- 
tors thereof,  and  accordingly  became  possessed  of  an  exclusive, 
natural  and  just  right  and  property  in  the  same,  with  a  right  to 
improve  or  dispose  of  the  same  and  its  various  produce,  in  any 
manner  which  they  chose,  and  might  have  incorporated  them- 
selves into  distinct  or  separate  societies  or  governments,  with- 
out any  connection  with  any  European  power  whatsoever. 

"  '  4th.  That  their  attachment  to  their  native  country  and  its 
excellent  Constitution  made  them  forget  their  former  sufferings, 
and  hope  for  better  times,  and  put  themselves  and  the  vast  terri- 
tory which  they  had  acquired  under  the  allegiance  of  the  Crown 
of  England,  upon  express  conditions  that  all  their  natural,  civil, 
and  religious  rights  and  privileges  should  be  secured  to  them  and 
their  heirs  forever.  This  security  was  solemnly  granted  and  con- 
firmed accordingly  in  their  respective  charters,  with  all  the  '  lib- 
erties and  immunities  of  free  and  natural  subjects  within  any  of 
the  dominions  of  the  then  King  of  England,  &c.,  his  heirs  or  suc- 
cessors, to  all  intents,  constructions,  and  purposes  whatsoever,  as 
if  they  or  every  one  of  them  had  been  born  within  the  realm  of 
England,  and  these  privileges  have  been  since  confirmed  by  sev- 
eral acts  of  Parliament. 

"  '  Sth.  That  the  charter  of  this  Colony  doth  in  the  strongest 
manner  possible,  grant  unto  the  inhabitants  thereof,  all  those 
rights  and  privileges,  with  complete  jurisdiction  within  the  terri- 
tory they  had  purchased,  and  an  entire  exemption  from  all  '  serv- 
ices, duties,  fines,  forfeitures,  claims  and  demands  whatsoever, 
except  the  fifth  part  of  all  ore  of  gold  and  silver  found  in  the 
Colony,  which  is  reserved  in  lieu  of  all  other  duties.' 

"  '  6th.  That  the  act  of  the  British  Parliament,  claiming  a  right 
to  make  laws  binding  upon  the  colonies  in  all  cases  whatsoever, 
is  inconsistent  with  the  natural,  constitutional,  and  charter  rights 
and  privileges  of  the  inhabitants  of  this  Colony. 

"  '  7th.  That  the  acts  of  Parliament  forbidding  us  to  transport 
our  wool  by  water  from  one  town  to  another,  or  prohibiting  the 
working  up  the  iron  or  other  raw  materials  which  the  country 
affords,  are  arbitrary,  oppressive,  and  inconsistent  with  our  nat- 
ural and  charter  rights. 


" '  8th.  That  all  acts  of  Parliament  for  raising  a  revenue  in 
America  are  a  notorioiis  violation  of  the  liberties  and  immunities 
granted  by  charter  to  the  inhabitants  of  this  Colony,  and  have  a 
tendency  to  deprive  them  of  the  liberties,  which,  as  freemen,  they 
have  a  right  to,  by  Magna  Charta  and  the  Bill  of  Rights,  and  also 
to  deprive  them  of  the  fruits  of  their  own  labor  and  the  produce 
of  their  own  lands ;  and  make  the  present  colonists  and  all  their 
property,  slaves  to  the  people,  or  rather  to  the  ministry  of  Great 

" '  9th.  That  the  granting  of  salaries  to  the  Governors  and 
Judges  of  the  colonies;  the  enlarging  the  jurisdiction  of  the 
Court  of  Admiralty ;  the  appointment  of  the  Board  of  Commis- 
sioners ;  the  increase  of  the  Custom  House  officers  ;  the  arbitrary 
power  given  to  those  officers  to  break  into  any  man's  house  (ever 
considered  by  law  as  a  sacred  retirement  from  all  force  and  vio- 
lence till  now),  and  to  forcibly  enter  his  bed-chamber,  break  open 
his  desk  and  trunks,  and  offer  all  kinds  of  insults  to  his  family  ; 
the  introducing  fleets  and  armies  to  supply  those  officers  and  en- 
force a  submission  to  every  act  of  oppression,  are  inconsistent 
with  every  idea  of  liberty,  and  will  certainly,  if  not  immediately 
checked,  establish  arbitrary  power  and  slavery  in  America,  with 
all  their  fatal  consequences. 

'■■ '  10th.  That  the  act  of  Parliament  entitled  an  '  Act  for  the  bet- 
ter preserving  His  Majesty's  Dock-yards,'  &c.,  is  a  flagrant  viola- 
tion of  all  our  natural  and  constitutional  rights ;  for  by  this  act 
any  man  in  America  may  be  seized  and  carried  to  any  part  of 
Britain,  there  to  be  tried  upon  a  pretense  of  his  being  concerned 
in  burning  a  boat,  vessel,  or  any  materials  for  building,  or  any 
naval  stores,  &c.,  and  being  deprived  of  a  trial  by  his  peers  in  the 
vicinage,  and  subjected  to  a  foreign  jurisdiction,  under  the  direc- 
tion of  those  who  neither  know  nor  regard  him ;  tho'  innocent, 
he  is  sure  to  be  entirely  ruined. 

"  '  11th.  That  the  act  allowing  the  East  India  Company  to  ex- 
port tea  to  America,  subject  to  a  duty  payable  here,  and  the  ac- 
tual sending  the  tea  into  the  colonies  by  the  Company,  are  mani- 
fest attempts  to  enforce  the  revenue  acts,  and  undoubtedly  de- 
signed to  make  a  precedent  for  establishing  the  taxes  and  monop- 
olies in  America,  in  order  that  a  general  tax  upon  all  the  neces- 
saries of  life,  and  all  our  lands,  may  take  place  ;  and  monopolies 
of  all  valuable  branches  of  commerce  may  be  established  in  this 
country.     We  will,  therefore,  neither  buy,  sell,  nor  receive  as  a 


gift,  any  dutied  tea,  but  shall  consider  all  persons  concerned  in 
introducing  dutied  tea  into  this  Town  as  enemies  to  their 

"  '  12th.  That  it  is  the  duty  of  every  man  in  America  who  loves 
God,  his  King,  or  his  country,  to  oppose  by  all  proper  measures, 
every  attempt  upon  the  liberties  of  his  country,  and  particularly 
the  importation  of  tea  subject  to  a  duty,  and  to  exert  himself  to 
the  utmost  to  obtain  a  redress  of  the  grievances  the  colonies  now 
groan  under. 

"  '  13th.  That  the  inhabitants  of  this  Town  ever  have  been,  and 
now  are,  loyal  and  dutiful  subjects  to  their  Sovereign  ;  that  they 
have  a  most  affectionate  regard  for  their  brethren  in  Britain  and 
Ireland ;  that  in  all  the  wars  in  America,  they  have,  when  the 
Government  has  been  constitutionally  applied  to  by  the  Crown, 
granted  all  the  aid  in  their  power,  and  frequently  more  than  was 
expected  ;  that  they  are  still  ready,  when  called  upon  in  a  consti- 
tutional way,  to  grant  such  aid  and  assistance  to  the  crown  as  the 
necessity  of  the  case  may  require,  and  their  ability  will  admit ; 
but  though  we  are  ready  to  sacrifice  our  lives  and  fortunes  for  the 
true  honor  and  interest  of  our  sovereign  and  the  good  of  our 
mother  country,  we  cannot  give  up  our  liberties  to  any  person 
upon  earth  ;  they  are  dearer  to  us  than  our  lives.  We  do,  there- 
fore, solemnly  resolve  and  determine,  that  we  will  heartily  unite 
with  the  other  towns  in  this  and  all  our  sister  colonies,  and  exert 
our  whole  force  and  influence  in  support  of  the  just  rights  and 
privileges  of  the  American  colonies. 

" '  14th.  That  the  Moderator  and  Joshua  Babcock,  Esq.,  Mr. 
James  Rhodes,  Mr.  George  Sheffield,  Major  James  Babcock,  or 
the  major  part  of  them,  be  a  committee  for  this  town  to  corre- 
spond with  all  other  committees  appointed  by  any  town  in  this 
or  the  other  colonies ;  and  the  committee  is  directed  to  give  the 
closest  attention  to  everything  which  concerns  the  liberties  of 
America ;  and  if  any  tea  subject  to  a  duty  should  be  imported  into. 
town,  or  anything  else  attempted  injurious  to  liberty,  the  com- 
mittee is  directed  and  empowered  to  call  a  town  meeting  forth- 
with, that  such  measures  may  be  taken  as  the  public  safety  may 

"  '  15th.  We  highly  applaud,  and  sincerely  thank  our  brethren 
in  the  several  sister  colonies  of  America,  particularly  in  Boston,. 
Virginia  and  Philadelphia,  for  their  noble  and  virtuous  stand  in 
defense  of  the  common  liberties  of  America ;  and  we  return  our 


thanks  to  the  town  of  Newport  for  their  patriotic  resolutions  to 
maintain  the  liberties  of  their  country,  and  the  prudent  measures 
they  have  taken  to  have  the  other  towns  in  the  colony  to  come 
into  the  same  generous  resolution. 

"  '  Voted.  That  the  proceedings  of  this  town  meeting  be  pub- 
lished in  the  Newport  Mercury.' 

"It  is  sufficiently  evident  that  the  above  patriotic  paper  was 
penned  by  Governor  Samuel  Ward ;  he,  however,  wrote  for  the 
hearts  of  his  fellow-townsmen.  The  people  cherished  no  disloy- 
alty to  law  and  legitimate  government,  but  simply  the  opposition 
of  principle  to  manifest  usurpation  and  oppression.  Nobly  had 
they  defended  the  Crown  in  the  French  and  Indian  wars." 

David  Sherman  Baker,  in  his  historical  sketch  of  North  Kings- 
town, thus  portrays  to  his  readers  the  scenes  and  events  incident 
to  the  revolutionary  period  in  that  town :  "  North  Kingstown 
early  caught  the  spirit  of  independence  and  was  ardent  in  the 
cause  of  liberty.  Already  she  had  extended  her  sympathy  in  the 
substantial  form  of  money  and  cattle  to  the  citizens  of  Boston, 
who  were  suffering  from  the  aggressions  of  the  British  soldiery, 
and  February  16th,  1775,  more  than  a  month  before  the  battle  of 
Lexington,  the  people  of  the  town,  now  organized  for  action, 
called  for  one  hundred  and  forty  guns.  These  were  promptly 
furnished,  and  in  the  following  month  the  committee  appointed 
by  the  general  assembly  apportioned  to  the  town  its  share  of 
powder,  lead  and  flints.  In  June  of  the  same  year  Charles  Til- 
linghast  and  two  others  were  appointed  enlisting  officers  for  the 
town.  From  this  time  companies  were  formed  and  enlistments 
continued  to  be  made  ;  and  during  the  whole  war  North  Kings- 
town's sons  fought  in  many  battles  on  sea  and  land.  When  in 
1777  General  Washington  ordered  the  continental  troops  in 
Rhode  Island  to  join  the  army  in  the  Jerseys,  it  left  the  state  in 
an  almost  defenseless  condition.  North  Kingstown,  whose  geo- 
graphical position  rendered  attacks  from  the  bay  an  easy  matter, 
was  especially  open  to  the  incursions  of  the  enemy.  It  was  at 
this  time  that  George  Waite  Babcock,  Joseph  Taylor,  John  Slo- 
cum  and  Christopher  Pearce,  having  the  welfare  of  their  country 
at  heart  and  willing  to  defend  it  with  their  lives,  believing  that 
the  enemy  were  about  to  make  an  attack,  raised  a  company  '  to 
guard  the  town  of  Updike's  Newtown,'  and  petitioning  the  as- 
sembly to  grant  a  charter.  '  Whereupon  it  was  voted  and  resolved 
that  the  petitioners,  with  such  others  as  shall  enlist  with  them. 


not  exceeding  sixty-four  men,  exclusive  of  commissioned  officers, 
be  incorporated  into  a  separate  and  distinct  military  company  by 
the  name  of  the  '  Newtown  Rangers,  to  be  commanded  by  one 
captain,  two  lieutenants  and  one  ensign.'  By  an  act  of  the  legis- 
lature slaves  were  allowed  to  enlist.  Soon  afterward  a  large 
company  composed  wholly  of  negroes  (many  of  whom  had  been 
slaves)  and  officered  by  white  men,  was  raised  in  the  town,  and 
Thomas  Cole  and  Benjamin  Peckham  were  chosen  captain  and 

"  During  the  whole  war  North  Kingstown  was  frequently  an- 
noyed by  predatory  incursions.  Small  parties  would  stealthily 
land  along  the  shore  and  plunder  the  people  of  their  cattle  and 
grain,  and  on  some  occasions  they  would  even  seize  the  inhabi- 
tants themselves.  At  one  time  Oliver  Spink  and  Charles  Tilling- 
hast,  who  was  the  grandfather  of  Senator  Charles  T.  James,  and 
who,  it  will  be  remembered,  was  the  first  enlisting  officer  ap- 
pointed by  the  town,  were  taken  from  their  houses  in  Quidnes- 
sett  and  imprisoned  in  Newport.  Here  they  contracted  the  small- 
pox, of  which  Spink  died,  but  Tillinghast,  who,  with  true  Yankee 
ingenuity  had  previously  vaccinated  himself,  passed  safely 
through  the  disease.  In  June,  1779,  a  number  of  British  soldiers 
landed  in  the  night  on  the  Quidnessett  shore  and  surrounded  the 
houses  of  John  Allen  and  Christopher  Spencer.  The  inmates, 
who  at  the  time  were  asleep,  were  awakened  and  rudely  turned 
out  of  doors  and  Allen's  house  was  burned  to  the  ground.  The 
one  in  which  Spencer  lived  belonged  to  a  Tory,  and  on  that  ac- 
count escaped  destruction.  Half  clad  and  terribly  frightened, 
the  other  members  of  the  two  families  were  commanded  to  si- 
lence, and  by  the  light  of  the  burning  dwelling  saw  Allen  and 
Spencer  marched  at  the  bayonet's  point  to  the  shore,  roughly 
thrust  into  a  boat  and  carried  to  Newport.  Here  they  were  con- 
fined in  a  loathsome  prison,  where  Spencer  remained  until  the 
English  troops  evacuated  Rhode  Island ;  but  Allen,  through  the 
intercession  of  a  lady  friend  of  his  family,  was  released  a  few 
months  before. 

"  Early  in  the  war  the  General  Assembly  voted  '  That  one  of 
the  field  pieces  assigned  to  South  Kingstown  should  be  sent  to 
and  for  the  tise  of  North  Kingstown.'  The  story  of  this  old  gun 
is  as  remarkable  as  it  is  interesting.  It  once  saved  Wickford 
from  destruction,  and  again,  as  if  to  repay  the  debt,  won  great 
glory  for  the  town  which  originally  loaned  it.     In  1777  a  com- 


pany  was  sent  out  in  a  barge  from  the  British  fleet  to  burn  the 
village  of  Wickford,  which  was  supposed  to  be  undefended. 
They  proceeded  unmolested  until  they  arrived  at  the  mouth  of 
the  harbor,  when,  to  their  great  surprise,  the  old  gun,  which 
had  been  stationed  on  the  point  where  the  light  house  now 
stands,  fired  into  them,  killed  one  man  and  caused  them  to 
hastily  retrace  their  course.  Soon  after  this  occurrence  news 
■came  that  a  British  man-of-war  had  grounded  on  Point  Judith. 
Excitement  ran  high  and  the  old  gun  was  again  resorted  to  ; 
but  upon  examination  it  was  found  that  the  Tories  had  spiked  it. 
This  difficulty  was  speedily  removed.  Samuel  Bissell  drilled  it 
■out,  and  in  a  few  hours,  drawn  by  four  oxen,  it  was  on  its  way 
to  the  Point,  where  it  was  mounted  on  the  shore  behind  the 
rocks,  and  after  a  vigorous  firing  of  a  few  minutes,  the  ship, 
which  proved  to  be  the  '  Syren,'  a  twenty-eight  gun  frigate,  sur- 
rendered, and  her  crew  of  a  hundred  and  sixty,  officers  and 
men,  were  carried  prisoners  to  Providence.  George  Babcock, 
whose  name  heads  the  petition  for  the  charter  of  the  Newtown 
Rangers,  was  afterward  one  of  the  most  successful  commanders 
•of  the  American  navy.  In  the  '  Mifflin,'  a  twenty-gun  ship, 
manned  by  130  men,  enlisted  in  North  Kingstown  and  Exeter, 
he  took  prize  after  prize,  and  many  an  abler  ship  struck  her 
■colors  before  the  invincible  Babcock  and  his  men.  While  cruising 
■off  the  banks  of  Newfoundland  in  1779,  they  fell  in  with  the 
English  ship  '  Tartar,'  mounting  twenty-six  guns,  fourteen 
swivels,  and  with  a  complement  of  162  men.  The  odds  weighed 
heavily  against  them  ;  but,-  after  a  fierce  engagement  of  two 
hours  and  a  half,  the  enemy  struck  her  flag,  and  a  few  days 
afterward,  amid  the  wildest  enthusiasm,  the  firing  of  guns,  the 
ringing  of  bells  and  the  illumination  of  the  city,  James  Eldred, 
a  Wickford  boy  who  had  bfeen  placed  in  command  of  the  '  Tartar,' 
with  a  number  of  other  prizes,  sailed  triumphantly  into  the  har- 
bor of  Boston. 

"  Samuel  Phillips,  a  man  distinguished  for  his  bravery,  whose 
uncle,  the  Honorable  Peter  Phillips,  was  commissary  under  Gen- 
eral Nathaniel  Greene  in  '  The  army  of  Observation,'  was  at  this 
lime  lieutenant  of  the  '  Mifflin.'  Two  years  before,  with  Daniel 
Wall,  his  fellow-townsman,  he  volunteered  under  Colonel  Barton 
and  commanded  one  of  the  five  boats  in  the  daring  expedition 
that  captured  Prescott  and  brought  him  safely  through  the 
^British  fleet.     In  a  journal  written  by  himself  Captain  Phillips 


says  :  '  I  have  been  in  the  late  war  Lieutenant  of  four  twenty-gun. 
ships,  one  cutter  of  fourteen  guns  and  commander  of  a  brig  of 
fourteen  guns.  I  have  ever  strove  hard  and  suffered  much  to 
help  gain  the  independence  of  my  country  and  am  ready  to  step- 
forth  again  and  oppose  any  power  that  shall  endeavor  to  injure 
my  country  and  her  rights.'  " 

The  Kentish  Guards. — The  history  of  the  Kentish  Guards 
deserves  more  than  a  passing  notice,  for  on  three  separate  and 
distinct  occasions  they  responded  most  gallantly  to  the  voice  of 
the  authorities  summoning  them  to  action  and  perilous  service. 
First  the  distant  rumbling  of  the  revolution  called  them  into 
being,  and  when  their  organization  was  but  half  a  year  old  their 
career  was  begun  on  the  battle  fields  of  Concord  and  Lexington. 
Two  generations  later,  in  the  year  1842,  they  were  again  called 
into  service  to  perform  a  deed  requiring  no  small  amount  of 
fortitude  and  determination.  Nineteen  years  more  elapsed  and 
again,  within  the  memory  of  men  now  living,  in  the  year  1861, 
when  our  commonwealth  was  again  racked  by  the  convulsions 
of  war,  an  order  comes  from  the  capital  of  the  state  to  the  Kentish 
Guards  to  report  at  once  to  the  commander-in-chief  of  the  mili- 
tary of  Rhode  Island.  One  hundred  strong,  like  their  revolu- 
tionary sires  a  century  ago,  they  responded  without  delay.  The 
First  Rhode  Island  Regiment  being  already  filled,  they  waited 
until  the  formation  of  the  Second,  in  which  they  enrolled  as 
Company  H. 

Beginning  with  the  revolutionary  struggle  we  find  military 
organizations  were  being  formed  all  over  the  country  previous 
to  the  actual  outbreak  of  hostilities.  At  the  October  session  of 
1774,  the  general  assembly  granted  a  charter  to  the  Pawtuxet 
Rangers ;  also  one  to  the  Kentish  Guards,  an  independent  com- 
pany for  the  three  towns  of  Warwick,  East  Greenwich  and  Cov- 
entry, from  which  at  a  later  day  were  to  be  taken  General  James 
Mitchell  Varnum,  General  Nathaniel  Greene  and  Colonel  Chris- 
topher Greene,  with  others  of  less  note.  The  news  of  the  battle 
of  Lexington,  on  the  19th  of  April,  1775,  aroused  the  patriotic 
spirit  of  Rhode  Island  to  a  still  higher  point,  and  three  days  after 
the  battle  of  Lexington,  the  assembly  met  at  Providence,  and 
"  Voted  and  resolved  that  fifteen  hundred  men  be  enlisted,  raised 
and  embodied  as  aforesaid,  with  all  the  expedition  and  despatch 
that  the  thing  will  admit  of."  This  army  was  designed  especi- 
ally as  an  army  of  observation,  with  its  quarters  in  this  state, "  and 


also  if  it  be  necessary,  for  the  safety  and  preservation  of  any  of 
the  colonies,  to  march  out  of  this  colony  and  join  and  co-operate 
with  the  forces  of  the  neighboring  colonies."  It  was  subsequently 
formed  into  one  brigade  under  the  command  of  a  brigadier-gen- 
eral, and  the  brigade  was  divided  into  three  regiments,  each  of 
which  was  to  be  commanded  by  one  colonel,  one  lieutenant- 
colonel  and  one  major,  while  each  regiment  was  to  consist  of 
eight  companies.  Nathaniel  Greene  was  chosen  the  brigadier- 

The  following  act  is  copied  from  an  old  schedule  of  the  doings 
of  the  general  assembly  in  the  year  1774 : 
"  An  act  establishing  an  Independent  Company  by  the  name  of  Kentish 


"  Whereas,  The  preservation  of  this  Colony  in  time  of  war  de- 
pends, under  God,  in  the  military  skill  and  discipline  of  its  in- 
habitants, and  whereas  a  number  of  inhabitants  of  the  Town  of 
East  Greenwich  (to  wit) :  James  Mitchell  Varnum,  Christopher 
Greene  (son  of  Philip),  Nathaniel  Greene,  Jr.,  Daniel  Greene, 
Griffin  Greene,  Nathaniel  Greene  (son  of  Richard),  Christopher 
Greene  (son  of  James),  John  Greene,  Charles  Greene,  Sylvester 
Greene,  William  Greene  (son  of  Richard),  Hopkins  Cooke,  Rich- 
ard Fry,  Joseph  Joslyn,  Micah  Whitmarsh,  Augustus  Mumford, 
John  Cooke,  Richard  Mathewson,  John  S.  Dexter,  John  Fry, 
Gideon  Mumford,William  Arnold,  Archibald  Crary,  John  Glazier, 
Stephen  Mumford,  Andrew  Boyd,  Eser  Wall,  Abial  Brown,  Oliver 
Gardiner,  Clark  Brown,  Benjamin  Spencer,  James  Searle,  Gideon 
Freeborn,  Wanton  Casey,  Job  Peirce,  John  Reynolds  and  Samuel 
Brown,  have  petitioned  this  Assembly  for  an  act  of  Incorporation, 
forming  them  and  such  others  as  shall  be  joined  unto  them  (not 
exceeding  One  Hundred  Men,  Rank  and  file),  into  a  Company  by 
the  name  of  the  Kentish  Guards ; 

"  Wherefore,  This  General  Assembly  to  encourage  a  Design  so 
laudable,  have  Ordained,  Constituted  and  Granted,  and  hereby 
do  Ordain,  Constitute  and  Appoint,  that  the  said  Petitioners  and 
such  others  as  may  be  joined  to  them  (not  exceeding  One  Hun- 
dred Men,  Rank  and  File),  be  and  they  are  hereby  declared  to 
be  an  Independent  Company,  by  the  name  of  the  Kentish 
Guards,  and  by  that  name  shall  have  perpetual  succession,  and 
shall  have  all  the  Rights,  Powers  and  Privileges  in  Grant  here- 
after mentioned. 


''First,  It  is  Granted  unto  the  said  Company,  that  they,  or  the 
major  part  of  them,  shall  and  may  once  in  every  year,  to  wit: 
on  the  last  Wednesday  in  April,  meet  and  assemble  themselves 
together,  in  some  convenient  place  by  them  appointed,  then  and 
there  to  choose  their  Officers,  to  wit :  One  Captain,  Two  Lieuten- 
ants and  One  Ensign,  and  all  other  Officers  necessary  for  train- 
ing, disciplining,  and  well  ordering  said  Company  ;  at  which 
meeting  no  Officer  shall  be  chosen,  but  by  the  greater  number  of 
votes  then  present ;  The  Captain,  Lieutenants  and  Ensign  to  be 
approved  of  by  the  Governor  and  Council  for  the  time  being ; 
and  shall  be  commissioned  in  the  same  manner  as  other  Military 
Officers  in  this  Colony. 

"  Secondly,  That  the  said  Company  shall  have  liberty  to  meet 
and  exercise  themselves  upon  such  other  days  and  as  often  as  they 
shall  think  necessary  and  not  be  subject  to  the  Orders  or  Direc- 
tions of  the  Colonel  or  other  Field  Officers  of  the  Regiment  in 
whose  District  they  live  in  such  meetings  and  exercisings ;  and 
that  they  be  obliged  to  meet  for  exercising  at  least  four  times  in 
each  year,  upon  the  penalty  of  paying  to,  and  for  the  use  of  the 
Company,  to  wit :  the  Captain  for  each  day's  neglect,  three 
pounds,  lawful  money,  the  Lieutenants  and  Ensign,  each  twenty 
shillings,  lawful  money,  the  Clerk  and  other  subaltern  Officers, 
each  twelve  shillings,  lawful  money,  and  private  Soldiers,  six 
shillings,  lawful  money,  to  be  collected  by  warrant  of  distress, 
directed  to  the  Clerk  from  the  Captain  or  other  Officer. 

"  Thirdly,  That  said  Company  or  the  greater  number  of  them 
make  all  such  laws.  Rules  and  Orders  among  themselves  as  they 
shall  deem  expedient  for  the  well  ordering  and  disciplining 
said  Company  and  lay  any  Penalty  or  Fine  for  the  breach  of 
such  Rules,  not  exceeding  twelve  shillings,  lawful  money,  for  one 
offence  to  be  collected  as  aforesaid. 

"  Fourthly,  That  all  those  who  shall  be  duly  enlisted  in  the  said 
Company,  so  long  as  they  shall  continue  therein,  shall  be  ex- 
empted from  bearing  arms  or  doing  other  militarj^  duty  (watch- 
ing and  warding  duty  excepted)  in  the  several  Companies,  or 
Train  Bands,  in  whose  District  they  respectively  live,  excepting 
such  as  shall  be  Officers  in  any  of  the  said  Company's  or  Train 

''Fifthly,  That  if  any  Officer  or  Officers  of  the  Company  shall 
be  disapproved  by  the  Governor  or  Council,  or  shall  remove  out 
of  the  said  County  of  Kent,  or  shall  be  taken  away  by  death, 


that  then,  and  in  such  cases  the  Captain  of  said  Company,  or 
Superior  Oflficer,  for  the  election  of  another,  or  others  in  their  or 
his  stead,  who  shall  be  so  removed. 

"  Sixthly,  For  the  further of  said  Company,  it  is  granted 

that  the  Captain  of  said  Company  shall  be  of  the  rank  of  Colonel, 
and  that  the  first  Lieutenant  be  of  the  rank  of  Lieutenant-Colonel, 
that  the  Second  Lieutenant  be  of  the  rank  of  Major,  and  that 
the  Ensign  be  of  the  rank  of  Captain  ;  that  the  said  OfEcers  shall 
be  of  the  Court  Martial  and  Council  of  War,  in  the  Regiment, 
in  whose  district  they  live  ;  that  upon  all  General  Reviews  and 
General  Musters,  the  said  Company  shall  rank  the  First  Inde- 
pendent Company  for  the  County  of  Kent,  and  that  in  time  of 
alarm  the  said  Company  shall  be  under  the  immediate  direction 
of  the  Commander-in-Chief  in  the  Colony. 

"It  is  Voted  and  Resolved,  that  the  Secretary  of  this  Colony  be, 
and  he  is  hereby  directed  to  make  a  fair  copy  of  the  preceding 
Act,  establishing  the  Company  called  the  Kentish  Guards,  affix 
the  Colony  Seal  thereto,  and  transmit  the  same  to  the  said  Com- 

"  And  it  is  further  Voted  and  Resolved,  at  the  request  of  the  said 
Company,  that  the  following  Officers  be,  and  they  are  hereby  ap- 
pointed to  command  the  same  : 

"  James  Mitchell  Varnum,  Captain. 
Richard  Fry,  First  Lieutenant. 
Christopher  Greene,  Second  Lieutenant. 
Hopkins  Cooke,  Ensign." 

This  company  furnished  more  officers  of  importance  for  the 
revolutionary  army  than  any  other  in  New  England,  or  perhaps 
in  the  United  States.  It  furnished  one  major-general,  Nathaniel 
Greene  ;  one  brigadier-general,  James  M.  Varnum  ;  two  colonels, 
Christopher  Greene  and  Archibald  Crary;  one  major,  John  S. 
Dexter  ;  and  one  captain,  Thomas  Arnold  ;  besides  a  large  num- 
ber of  inferior  ones. 

The  following  sketches,  taken  from  Doctor  Greene's  history  of 
East  Greenwich,  will  be  read  with  interest  in  this  connection. 
The  first,  a  letter  belonging  to  Wanton  Casey,  Esq.  (the  first 
cashier  of  the  Rhode  Island  Central  Bank),  is  very  interesting  as 
a  record  of  the  writer's  personal  experience.  It  was  written  to 
Judge  Johnson,  of  South  Carolina,  who  published  a  "  Life  of 
General  Greene  ": 

"  I  was  one  of  the  petitioners  to  the  General  Assembly  to  grant 


a  Charter  for  an  Independent  Company,  called  the  Kentish 
Guards  ;  said  petition  was  granted  in  October,  1774  ;  previous  to 
the  battle  of  Lexington,  in  1775.  The  Company  was  dressed  in 
uniform,  well  armed  and  disciplined,  amounting  to  between 
eighty  and  one  hundred  men,  rank  and  file.  On  the  morning 
after  the  battle  of  Lexington,  and  in  two  or  three  hours  after  the 
news  arrived,  we  were  on  the  march  with  one  hundred  and  ten 
men,  rank  and  file,  for  the  scene  of  action,  several  volunteers 
having  joined ;  we  marched  to  Pawtucket,  about  twenty  miles 
from  East  Greenwich,  and  there  received  another  express,  say- 
ing that  the  British  Troops  had  returned  to  Boston ;  we  there- 
fore returned  to  East  Greenwich,  where  we  continued  to  do  duty 
by  keeping  up  a  regular  guard  for  a  long  time. 

"  Captain  Wallace,  who  commanded  a  British  ship,  mounting 
between  twenty  and  thirty  guns,  and  Captain  Ascough,  mounting 
about  twenty,  with  several  smaller  vessels  as  tenders,  kept  us 
constantly  on  the  alert ;  Captain  Wallace,  being  the  senior  officer, 
could  land,  including  marines,  between  two  hundred  and  fifty  or 
three  hundred  men ;  he  landed  with  a  number  of  his  men  on 
Canonicut  Island,  and  burnt  most  of  the  houses  on  the  Island, 
and  burnt  or  took  away  the  furniture,  provisions  and  sheep,  shot 
many  cattle,  and  killed  some  of  the  inhabitants,  and  others  he 
made  prisoners. 

"  East  Greenwich,  situated  on  Narragansett  Bay,  was  exposed 
to  his  depredations,  and  I  believe  that  nothing  but  the  continued 
efforts  of  the  Kentish  Guards  prevented  their  burning  the  Town. 
We  erected  a  Fort  at  the  entrance  of  the  harbor,  and  had  eight 
or  ten  cannon  mounted,  to  prevent  their  Boats  and  Tenders  get- 
ting into  the  harbor,  and  kept  a  regular  guard  there  for  a  long 
time  ;  a  vessel  had  been  driven  on  shore  and  taken  by  the  enemy 
at  Warwick  Neck  by  two  Tenders  full  of  men  ;  the  Commander 
of  the  Kentish  Guards,  Colonel  Richard  Fry,  proposed  to  retake 
her ;  we  crossed  the  outer  harbor  (about  four  miles)  in  boats,  and 
marched  down  opposite  the  vessel,  behind  a  beach,  and  after  oc- 
casionally firing  and  receiving  the  fire  from  the  two  Tenders  for 
three  or  four  hours,  we  drove  them  off,  and  retook  the  vessel ; 
during  this  action  one  of  our  men  named  Ned  Pearce  was 
wounded,  and  was  obliged  to  have  his  arm  amputated. 

"  Some  time  afterward  Captain  Wallace  came  up  the  Bay  from 
Newport,  and  anchored  between  Bristol  and  the  Island  of  Pru- 
dence, and  plundered  the  inhabitants ;  Colonel  Fry  proposed  our 


■going  to  prevent  their  landing  ;  we  accordingly  took  boats,  it  be- 
ing about  six  miles  by  water,  and  landed  very  early  in  the 
morning ;  while  eating  breakfast  at  the  north  end  of  the  Island, 
we  received  news  by  a  man  who  ran  very  fast,  that  the  enemy 
were  landing  three  or  four  miles  below ;  we  had  already  sent 
back  the  boats  we  came  in,  for  a  reinforcement,  being  disap- 
pointed in  not  meeting  ninety  men  from  the  Island  of  Rhode 
Island,  who  had  engaged  to  meet  us  ;  our  resource  was  to  brave 
the  danger  as  well  as  we  could,  being  only  about  eighty  men, 
rank  and  file,  when  we  knew  that  the  enemy  could  land  two  hun- 
dred and  fifty;  we  immediately  formed,  with  drums  beating  and 
colors  flying,  which  daring  had  the  desired  effect ;  on  discerning 
cus-  they  returned  to  their  vessels,  and  we  were  reinforced  in  the 
afternoon;  during  the  night  following  the  enemy  got  under 
weigh  and  returned  to  Newport,  while  we  returned  to  East 

"Some  time  after  this  the  enemy  landed  on  Prudence  and 
burnt  most,  if  not  all  the  houses  on  the  Island;  our  company  was 
frequently  called  out  in  the  night  to  march  to  Quidnesitt,  two  or 
three  miles  below  East  Greenwich,  to  prevent  the  enemy  taking 
■off  cattle  and  plundering  the  inhabitants ;  the  British  were  joined 
by  a  number  of  Tories,  well  acquainted  with  that  part  of  the 
■country,  and  until  there  were  two  pieces  of  Artillery  attached  to 
the  Company,  we  could  not  keep  their  boats  at  a  respectful  dis- 
tance ;  before  and  after  the  British  fleet  took  possession  of  the 
Island  of  Rhode  Island,  in  1776,  detachments  from  our  Com- 
pany were  frequently  called  for  to  take  up  Tories  and  suspected 
-persons,  many  of  whom  were  in  the  Colony  at  that  time,  particu- 
larly in  our  neighborhood,  and  as  I  kept  a  fleet  horse,  was  often 
-called  on ;  I  well  remember  going  out  one  night,  under  the  com- 
mand of  General  Varnum  and  Colonel  Sherbourn  in  search  of  a 
man  named  Hart  (a  spy  from  the  enemy),  and  after  riding  all 
night,  and  taking  some  suspected  persons,  who  informed  us 
where  to  find  him,  we  surrounded  a  house  in  Exeter,  just  at  day- 
light, and  after  searching  sometime  we  found  where  he  was  se- 
•creted ;  he  was  tried  by  a  Court  Martial  in  Providence  and  con- 
victed ;  he  had  enlisted  a  number  of  men,  some  of  whom  procured 
boats  and  joined  the  enemy  on  Rhode  Island. 

"  Our  Company  (the  Kentish  Guards)  was  on  Rhode  Island  at 
-what  was  called  Sullivan's  Expedition,  but  we  came  off  before 


the  battle,  our  time  having  expired,  and  there  being  no  prospect 
of  attacking  the  enemy ;  but  as  soon  as  we  heard  the  firing  of 
the  advance  on  the  day  of  the  action  (which  we  could  very  dis- 
tinctly from  East  Greenwich),  we  embarked  on  board  of  a  sloop 
with  the  intention  of  landing  on  the  north  end  of  the  Island  as  a 
reinforcement,  but  after  passing  Prudence  Island  an  armed  vessel 
of  the  enemy  endeavoured  to  cut  us  off,  and  we  were  compelled 
to  bear  away  and  land  on  Pappoosesquaw  Point,  about  two  miles 
north  of  Prudence  Island  and  directly  opposite  the  Town  of 
Bristol;  we  there  learned  that  the  enemy  intended  to  retreat 
from  the  Island,  and  we  had  orders  not  to  go  on,  but  helped  to 
take  care  of  the  wounded  who  were  brought  to  said  place. 

"  During  the  latter  part  of  the  year  1775  and  in  1776,  thirty-five 
members  of  the  Kentish  Guards  entered  the  Continental  service ; 
among  whom  were  General  Nathaniel  Greene,  General  James- 
Mitchell  Varnum,  Colonel  Christopher  Greene,  who  defeated  the 
Hessians  at  Red  Bank — having  under  him  a  number  of  Officers 
from  our  Company — Major  Flagg,  Colonel  Archibald  Crary,  Major 
John  S.  Dexter  and  others." 

The  old  fort  at  East  Greenwich,  alluded  to  by  Mr.  Casey,  was. 
erected  on  the  bank  near  the  entrance  of  our  harbor,  about  mid- 
way between  our  village  and  Chipinoxet,  and  nearly  opposite 
Long  Point.  After  the  war,  the  cannon  mounted  there  were  re- 
moved to  West  Point,  and  the  embankments  of  the  fort  gradually 
went  to  decay.  At  the  present  time  not  the  slightest  trace  of 
Fort  Daniel  is  to  be  seen. 

Mr.  Wanton  Casey  was  born  in  East  Greenwich  in  1760,  and 
consequently  was  only  fourteen  years  old  in  1774,  when  he  joined 
the  Kentish  Guards,  being  one  of  the  original  petitioners  for  the 
charter,  and  probably  was  the  youngest  man  in  the  country  who 
took  up  arms  during  the  revolutionary  war.  He  continued  to 
perform  duty  in  the  company  until  1778,  at  which  time,  in  conse- 
quence of  constant  exposure,  his  health  was  so  much  impaired 
that  he  was  compelled  to  leave  the  army.  His  physician  advised 
a  sea  voyage  and  a  milder  climate.  He  therefore  went  to  France, 
where  he  resided  for  a  number  of  years,  extensively  engaged  in 
business  as  one  of  the  firm  of  the  large  importing  house  of  Silas 
Casey  &  Son,  of  East  Greenwich. 

In  Bartlett's  "  Colonial  Records,"  is  the  following  paper  refer- 
ring to  East  Greenwich : 


"Subscription  for  the  Relief  of  the  Inhabitants  of  Boston  and  Charles- 
town,  in  the  Tozvn  of  East  Grecnwicli : 

"  East  Greenwich,  August  1774. 

"  We,  the  subscribers,  inhabitants  of  the  town  of  East  Green- 
wich in  the  Colony  of  Rhode  Island,  taking  into  the  most  serious 
consideration  the  present  alarming  situation  of  our  brethren  in 
the  towns  of  Boston  and  Charlestown,  in  the  Province  of  Massa- 
chusetts Bay,  occasioned  by  the  late  cruel,  malignant  and  worse 
than  savage  acts  of  the  British  Parliament ;  and  whereas  a  tame 
submission  to  the  first  approaches  of  lawless  power  will  undoubt- 
edly involve  this  extensive  continent  in  one  scene  of  misery  and 
servitude,  than  which,  a  glorious  death,  in  defence  of  our  unques- 
tionable rights  is  far  more  eligible  ;  convinced  likewise,  that  the 
only  true  glory  and  unfading  grandeur  of  the  British  Monarch 
consists  in  governing  his  extensive  empire  with  equal  and  im- 
partial laws,  founded  in  reason  and  rendered  sacred  by  the  wis- 
dom of  ages ;  and  that  every  attempt  to  impair  that  noble  consti- 
tution, which  hath  ever  been  the  envy  and  terror  of  Europe,  con- 
stitutes the  blackest  treason — from  the  most  earnest  abhorrence 
to  the  deep-laid  schemes  of  his  prime  minister,  whom  we  esteem 
the  most  determined  foe  to  royalty ;  and  from  our  love  to  our 
country,  which  nothing  but  death  can  abate,  we  do  promise  and 
engage  to  pay  by  the  first  day  of  October  next,  the  respective 
sums  to  our  names  annexed,  to  James  Mitchell  Varnum,  Esq., 
Messrs.  A.  Mumford,  Preserved  Pearce  and  William  Pearce,  to  be 
laid  out  and  expended  in  such  articles  of  provisions,  for  our  dis- 
tressed brethren,  as  the  majority  of  us  shall  agree  upon  to  be  sent 
to  the  committee  of  ways  and  means  for  employing  the  poor  in 
Boston,  by  the  first  conveyance. — Providence  Gazette." 

A  somewhat  important  event  occurred  at  this  time,  at  the  rais- 
ing of  the  Congregational  church  in  East  Greenwich.  After  the 
large  number  of  men  who  had  assembled  for  the  purpose  of  rais- 
ing the  building  had  finished  their  labor,  they  met  and  burned  the 
effigy  of  Stephen  Arnold,  a  man  of  some  note  in  the  county,  who 
at  that  time  had  made  himself  very  unpopular  by  his  violent 
Tory  principles.  On  hearing  of  this  insult,  Stephen  Arnold,  who 
resided  about  four  or  five  miles  from  the  village,  collected  a  num- 
ber of  his  friends  for  the  purpose  of  marching  down  and  destroy- 
ing it.  He  enlisted  several  hundred  men,  exercised  and  man- 
oeuvred them  privately,  until  his  plans  were  completed,  and  fixed 
on  a  time  and  place  preparatory  to  making  a  descent  on  the  vil- 


lage.  The  place  of  meeting  was  about  two  miles  west  of  the  vil- 
lage at  the  corner  of  the  two  roads,  near  the  residence  of  the  late 
Daniel  Rowland. 

The  scheme  was  so  well  arranged,  and  the  secret  so  well  kept, 
that  nothing  but  the  treachery  of  one  of  his  men,  to  whom  the 
whole  plan  was  disclosed,  saved  the  village  from  destruction. 
The  prime  mover  divulged  the  secret  to  Thomas  Tillinghast,  sup- 
posing from  his  well-known  Tory  feelings,  he  would  readily  fall 
into  the  scheme  ;  but  Mr.  Tillinghast,  although  belonging  to  the 
same  political  party  with  Arnold,  would  not  join  a  treasonable 
band  collected  for  the  gratification  of  private  revenge.  He  there- 
fore proceeded  to  put  the  inhabitants  of  East  Greenwich  on  their 
guard.  He  arrived  here  about  midnight,  and  after  calling  up 
some  of  the  people,  placed  before  them  the  whole  affair.  The 
story  appeared  so  improbable  that  it  had  few  believers.  Very 
few  could  think  that  such  men  would  seriously  contemplate  so 
daring  an  act.  However,  as  Mr.  Tillinghast  was  well  known  to 
be  perfectly  trustworthy,  they  prepared  themselves  for  the  worst. 

At  that  time  there  resided  in  the  village  an  old  lady,  called 
Peggy  Pearce,  who  was  a  remarkably  shrewd,  observing  sort  of 
person,  and  therefore  one  well  fitted  for  an  emergency.  She  kept 
a  shop  on  Main  street,  and  was  in  the  habit  of  trading  with  the 
people  of  West  Greenwich,  where  most  of  the  rioters  lived,  and 
was  therefore  well  situated  to  fulfill  the  part  of  a  spy. 

The  next  day  after  the  alarm  she  went  on  horseback  through 
a  portion  of  West  Greenwich  and  Coventry,  with  the  ostensible 
purpose  of  purchasing  woolen  yarn  and  linen  thread,  then  furn- 
ished solely  by  the  farmers'  wives  and  daughters,  but  her  real  ob- 
ject was  to  ascertain  if  possible  when  the  attack  was  to  be  made. 
By  dropping  a  few  casual  remarks,  and  making  some  apparently 
idle  inquiries,  she  learned  not  only  that  the  report  was  true,  but 
also  that  the  attack  would  be  made  on  the  following  day  or  night. 
She  returned  to  the  village  and  made  known  the  result  of  her 
mission.  A  meeting  was  hastily  called  by  the  inhabitants,  and 
Samuel  Brown  was  dispatched  to  Providence  requesting  the  gov- 
ernor to  send  the  military  to  their  assistance.  The  governor  an- 
swered the  call  promptly,  sending  the  light  infantry  and  cadets 
to  their  aid. 

The  rioters  assembled  at  their  rendezvous,  but  on  learning  that 
their  intentions  were  discovered  and  that  the  inhabitants  were 
prepared  for  the  encounter,  they  sent  out  Arnold  and  others  as 


scouts,  who,  happening,  in  their  eagerness,  to  approach  rather  too 
near  the  village,  were  captured.  Stephen  Arnold  was  compelled 
to  make  an  apology  to  the  villagers,  expressing  his  sorrow  and 
regret,  and  upon  promising  to  desist  from  all  further  attempts, 
and  dismiss  his  followers,  he  was  released.  And  thus  ended  the 

Judge  Staples,  in  his  book  entitled  the  "  Annals  of  Providence," 
refers  to  this  affair  in  the  following  manner : 

"The  following  month  (September,  1774),  the  Light  Infantry 
and  Cadet  Companys  were  requested  by  the  Sheriff  of  the  Coun- 
ty of  Kent,  at  East  Greenwich,  to  disperse  a  mob  there  assembled, 
and  threatening  to  destroy  the  village  ;  an  express  arrived  here 
(Providence),  about  two  in  the  morning,  and  these  two  companies 
reached  their  place  of  destination,  at  nine  the  same  morning. 

"It  seems  that  the  people  of  East  Greenwich  had  charged 
Stephen  Arnold  of  Warwick,  one  of  the  Judges  of  the  inferior 
court  in  that  County,  with  propagating  principles  unfriendly  to 
American  liberty,  and  hung  him  in  effigy ;  he  had  called  together 
his  friends  to  the  number  of  some  hundreds,  to  avenge  himself 
for  these  insults ;  after  the  arrival  of  the  military,  he  acknowl- 
edged that  he  had  been  indiscreet  in  his  proceedings,  being  ac- 
tuated by  fear  and  resentment ;  he  signed  a  paper  confessing 
these  facts  and  declaring  himself  to  be  a  friend  to  the  liberties 
of  his  country,  and  that  he  disapproved  of  those  measures  which 
were  intended  to  impose  any  taxes  on  America  without  her  con- 
sent ;  upon  this  and  his  promising  to  discourage  all  such  unlaw- 
ful assemblies  for  the  future,  peace  was  restored  in  the  village 
and  the  Military  returned  home." 

The  battle  of  Bunker  Hill  having  been  fought,  increasing 
preparations  were  made  throughout  the  Rhode  Island  colony  for 
the  struggle.  Every  man  capable  of  bearing  arms  was  required 
to  equip  himself  for  service  and  to  drill  half  a  day  semi-monthly. 
Six  additional  companies  of  sixty  men  each  were  ordered  to  be 
raised  and  to  join  the  brigade,  which  had  now  been  placed  under 
the  general  direction  of  Washington,  who  was  now  in  the  vicin- 
ity of  Boston.-  A  brig  from  the  West  Indies  had  been  captured 
off  Warwick  Neck,  and  the  adjacent  shore  pillaged  of  much  live 
stock.  Additional  forces  were  raised  throughout  the  colony.  In 
January,  1776,  Warwick  Neck  was  fortified,  and  a  company  of  ar- 
tillery and  minute  men  were  sent  to  defend  it.  Two  new  regi- 
ments of  seven  hundred   and   fifty  men  each  were  raised,  and 


united  in  one  brigade.  Of  one  of  these  regiments,  Henry  Bab- 
cock  was  colonel,  and  Christopher  Lippitt,  of  this  town,  was  lieu- 

The  following  account  of  Colonel  Lippitt  is  from  the  pen  of 
John  Howland,  Esq.  At  the  time  it  was  written,  Mr.  Howland 
was  president  of  the  Rhode  Island  Historical  Society :  "  Christo- 
pher Lippitt  was  a  member  of  the  General  Assembly.  In  Jan- 
uary, 1776,  he  was  appointed  Lieut.  Col.  of  the  regiment  raised 
by  the  State — Col.  Harry  Babcock  was  commander.  He  shortly 
quitted  the  service  and  Lieut.  Col.  Lippitt  was  promoted  to  the 
of&ce  of  Colonel.  I  enlisted  in  Capt.  Dexter 's  company.  We 
were  stationed  on  the  island  of  Rhode  Island.  The  regiment 
was  taken  into  the  continental  service,  and  the  officers  commis- 
sioned by  Congress.  After  the  disastrous  battle  of  Long  Island, 
we  were  ordered  to  join  Washington's  army,  at  New  York. 

"  On  the  31st  of  Dec,  1776,  while  the  army  under  Washington 
was  in  Jersey,  the  term  of  all  the  continental  troops  expired,  ex- 
cept Lippitt's  regiment,  which  had  eighteen  days  more  to  serve. 
The  brigade  to  which  they  were  attached  consisted  of  five  regi- 
ments, three  of  which  (Varnum's,  Hitchcock's  and  Lippitt's)  were 
from  Rhode  Island.  Col.  Hitchcock  commanded  the  brigade, 
and  Lippitt's  regiment  counted  more  than  one  third  of  the 
whole.  This  was  the  time  that  tried  both  soul  and  body.  We 
had  by  order  of  the  General  left  our  tents  at  Bristol,  on  the  other 
side  of  the  Delaware.  We  were  standing  on  frozen  ground,  cov- 
ered with  snow.  The  hope  of  the  commander-in-chief  was  sus- 
tained by  the  character  of  these  half-frozen,  half-starved  men,  that 
he  could  persuade  them  to  serve  another  month,  until  the  new 
recruits  should  arrive.  He  made  the  attempt  and  it  succeeded. 
Gen.  Mifflin  addressed  our  men,  at  his  request ;  he  did  it  well. 
The  request  of  the  General  was  acceded  to  by  our  unanimously 
poising  the  firelock  as  a  signal.  Within  two  hours  after  this  vote 
we  were  on  our  march  to  Trenton.  Col.  Lippitt's  regiment  was 
in  the  battle  at  Trenton,  when  retreating  over  the  bridge,  it  be- 
ing narrow,  our  platoons  were  in  passing  it,  crowded  into  a 
dense  and  solid  mass,  in  the  rear  of  which  the  enemy  were 
making  their  best  efforts.  The  noble  horse  of  Gen.  Washing- 
ton stood  with  his  breast  pressed  close  against  the  end  of  the 
west  rail  of  the  bridge ;  and  the  firm,  composed,  and  majestic 
countenance  of  the  general  inspired  confidence  and  assurance,  in 
a  moment  so  important  and  critical. 


"They  did  not  succeed  in  their  attempt  to  cross  the  bridge. 
Although  the  creek  was  fordable  between  the  bridge  and  the 
Delaware,  they  declined  attempting  a  passage  in  the  face  of 
those  who  presented  a  more  serious  obstruction  than  the  water. 
On  one  hour — yes,  on  forty  minutes,  commencing  at  the  moment 
when  the  British  first  saw  the  bridge  and  the  creek  before  them 
— depended  the  all-important,  the  all-absorbing  question,  whether 
we  should  be  independent  States  or  conquered  rebels !  Had  the 
army  of  Cornwallis  within  that  space  crossed  the  bridge  or 
forded  the  creek,  unless  a  miracle  had  intervened,  there  would 
have  been  an  end  to  the  American  army. 

"  Col.  Lippitt  was  in  the  battle  of  Princeton.  The  commander- 
in-chief  after  the  action,  took  the  commander  of  our  brigade 
(Col.  Hitchcock)  by  the  hand,  expressing  his  high  approbation 
of  his  conduct  and  that  of  the  troops  he  commanded,  and  wished 
him  to  communicate  his  thanks  to  his  officers  and  men. 

"  Col.  Lippitt  continued  in  service  during  the  war.  He  after- 
terward  removed  to  Cranston.  He  was  appointed  major-general 
of  State's  militia.  He  died  on  his  farm  in  Cranston.  Charles 
Lippitt,  the  brother  of  Col.  Lippitt,  was  an  officer  in  the  revolu- 
tionary war,  and  for  many  years  a  member  of  the  General  As- 
sembly.    He  died  in  Providence,  in  August,  1845,  aged  91. 

"  Christopher  Lippitt,  son  of  Moses,  was  born  November  29th, 
1712.  He  married  Catherine  Holden,  daughter  of  Anthony  and 
Phebe  (Rhodes)  Holden,  January  2d,  1736,  and  had  twelve  chil- 
dren, of  whom  Colonel  Christopher  Lippitt,  the  revolutionary 
hero,  was  the  fourth." 

The  exposed  condition  of  the  seaboard  towns  rendered  it  ad- 
visable for  the  women  and  children  to  remove  into  the  interior, 
and  many  of  them  accordingly  left  their  homes  for  safer  quarters. 
Warwick  Neck  was  defended  by  Colonel  John  Waterman's  regi- 
ment, and  Pawtuxet  by  that  of  Colonel  Samuel  Aborn.  In  July, 
1777,  one  of  the  most  daring  and  skilfully  executed  acts  that  oc- 
curred during  the  war,  resulted  in  the  seizure  of  General  Pres- 
cott,  the  British  commander  on  Rhode  Island,  by  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  William  Barton,  who  was  at  the  time  stationed  at  Tiver- 
ton. Prescott  was  quartered  about  five  miles  from  Newport,  on 
the  west  road  leading  to  the  ferry. 

Capture  of  Prescott. — The  following  is  from  Lossing's 
"  Pictorial  Field-Book,"  which  fully  describes  the  bold  and  suc- 
cessful expedition  of  General  Barton : 


"  Early  in  May,  1777  (one  hundred  years  ago),  the  command  of 
the  British  troops  who  held  possession  of  Newport,  devolved 
upon  Major-General  Prescott,  infamous  in  the  annals  of  war,  as 
one  of  the  meanest  of  petty  tyrants  when  in  power,  and  of  das- 
tards when  in  danger.  Possessing  a  narrow  mind,  utterly  untu- 
tored by  benevolence  or  charity  ;  a  judgment  perverse  in  the 
extreme  ;  a  heart  callous  to  the  most  touching  appeals  of  sym- 
pathy, but  tender  when  avarice  half  opened  its  lips  to  plead,  he 
was  a  most  unfit  commander  of  a  military  guard  over  people  like 
those  of  Rhode  Island,  who  could  appreciate  courtesy  ;  but  he 
was  a  tyrant  at  heart,  and  having  the  opportunity  he  exercised  a 
tyrant's  doubtful  prerogatives. 

"  General  Lee  was  captured  by  the  British  in  New  Jersey,  in 
December,  1776,  while  passing  from  the  Hudson  to  join  Wash- 
ington on  the  Delaware  ;  the  Americans  had  no  prisoner  of  equal 
military  rank  to  exchange  for  him,  therefore  Colonel  Barton  con- 
ceived the  bold  plan  of  capturing  General  Prescott,  in  order  to 
exchange  him  for  General  Lee ;  it  was  accomplished  on  the. 
night  of  the  liJth  of  July,  1777,  six  months  after  the  capture  of 

"  At  that  time  General  Prescott  was  quartered  at  the  house  of 
a  Quaker  named  Overing,  about  five  miles  above  Newport,  on  the 
west  road  leading  to  the  ferry,  at  the  north  part  of  the  Island. 
Barton's  plan  was  to  cross  Narragansett  Bay  from  the  main,  seize 
Prescott  and  carry  him  to  the  American  camp.  It  was  a  very 
hazardous  undertaking,  for  at  that  time  there  were  three  British 
frigates,  with  their  guard-boats,  lying  east  of  Prudence  Island, 
and  almost  in  front  of  Prescott's  quarters.  With  a  few  chosen 
men  Colonel  Barton  embarked  in  four  whale  boats,  with  muffled 
oars,  at  Warwick  Neck,  at  nine  o'clock  in  the  evening,  and  passed 
unobserved  over  to  Rhode  Island,  between  the  islands  of  Pru- 
dence and  Patience.  They  heard  the  cry,  '  All's  well,'  from  the 
guard-boats  of  the  enemy,  as  they  passed  silently  and  unob- 
served, and  landed  in  Coddington's  Cove,  at  the  mouth  of  a  small 
stream  which  passed  by  the  quarters  of  Prescott.  Barton  divided 
his  men  into  several  squads,  assigning  to  each  its  duty  -and  sta- 
tion, and  then  with  the  strictest  order  and  profound  silence,  they 
advanced  towards  the  house.  The  main  portion  of  the  expedi- 
tion passed  about  midway  between  a  British  guard-house  and  the 
encampment  of  a  company  of  light  horse,  while  the  remainder 
was  to  make  a  circuitous  route  to  approach   Prescott's  quarters 


from  the  rear  and  secure  the  doors.  As  Barton  and  his  men  ap- 
proached a  gate,  a  sentinel  hailed  them  twice,  and  then  de- 
manded the  countersign.  'We  have  no  countersign  to  give,' 
Barton  said,  and  quickly  added,  '  Have  you  seen  any  deserters 
here  to-night  ?'  The  sentinel  was  misled  by  this  question,  sup- 
posing them  to  be  friends,  and  was  not  undeceived  until  his 
musket  was  seized  and  himself  bound  and  menaced  with  instant 
death  if  he  made  any  noise.  The  doors  had  been  secured  by  the 
division  from  the  rear,  and  Barton  entered  the  front  passage 
boldly.  Mr.  Overing  sat  alone,  reading,  the  rest  of  the  family 
being  in  bed,  and  Barton  inquired  for  General  Prescott's  room. 
Overing  pointed  upward,  signifying  that  it  was  directly  over 
the  room  in  which  they  were  standing.  With  four  strong 
men  and  Sisson,  a  powerful  negro  who  accompanied  them.  Bar- 
ton ascended  the  stairs  and  gently  tried  the  door.  It  was  locked  ; 
no  time  was  lost  in  parleying ;  the  negro  drew  back  a  couple  of 
paces,  and  using  his  head  for  a  battering-ram,  burst  open  the 
door  at  the  first  effort.  The  general,  supposing  the  intruders  to 
be  robbers,  sprang  from  his  bed  and  seized  his  gold  watch  that 
was  hanging  upon  the  wall.  Barton  placed  his  hand  gently  upon 
the  general's  shoulder,  told  him  he  was  his  prisoner,  and  that 
perfect  silence  was  his  only  safety  now.  Prescott  asked  time  to 
dress,  but  it  being  a  hot  July  night,  and  time  precious,  Barton 
refused  acquiescence,  feeling  that  it  would  not  be  cruel  to  take 
him  across  the  bay,  where  he  could  make  his  toilet  with  more 
care,  at  his  leisure.  So,  throwing  his  cloak  around  him,  and 
placing  him  between  two  armed  men,  the  prisoner  was  hurried 
to  the  shore.  In  the  mean  time.  Major  Barrington,  Prescott's 
aid,  hearing  the  noise  in  the  general's  room,  leaped  from  a  win- 
dow to  escape,  but  was  captured,  and  he  and  the  sentinel  sta- 
tioned in  the  centre  of  the  party.  At  abotit  midnight  captors 
and  prisoners  landed  at  Warwick  Neck  Point,  where  General 
Prescott  first  broke  the  silence  by  saying  to  Colonel  Barton,  '  Sir, 
you  have  made  a  bold  push  to-night.'  '  We  have  been  fortunate,' 
coolly  replied  Barton. 

"  Captain  Elliot  was  there  with  a  coach  to  convey  the  prison- 
ers to  Providence,  where  they  arrived  at  sunrise.  Prescott  was 
kindly  treated  by  General  Spencer  and  other  officers,  and  in  the 
course  of  a  few  days  was  sent  to  the  headquarters  of  Washing- 
ton, at  Middlebrook,  on  the   Raritan.     Prescott  was  exchanged 


for  General  Charles  Lee  in  April  following,  and  soon  afterwards 
resumed  his  command  of  the  British  troops  on  Rhode  Island. 

"On  account  of  the  bravery  displayed  and  the  importance  of 
the  service  in  this  expedition,  Congress,  having  a  '  just  sense  of 
the  gallant  behavior  of  Lieutenant-Colonel  Barton  and  the  brave 
officers  and  men  of  his  party,  who  distinguished  their  valor  and 
address  in  making  prisoner  of  Major-General  Prescott,  of  the 
British  army,  and  Major  William  Barrington,  his  aid-de-camp,' 
voted  Barton  an  elegant  sword ;  and  on  the  24th  of  December 
following  he  was  promoted  to  the  rank  and  pay  of  colonel  in  the 
Continental  army. 

"  The  officers  on  the  expedition  were  :  Andrew  Stanton,  Samuel 
Potter,  John  Wilcox.  Non-commissioned  officers,  Joshua  Bab- 
cock  and  Samuel  Philips.  Privates,  Benjamin  Pren,  James  Pot- 
ter, Henry  Fisher,  James  Parker,  Joseph  Guild,  Nathan  Smith, 
Isaac  Brown,  Billington  Crumb,  James  Haines,  Samuel  Apis, 
Alderman  Crank,  Oliver  Simmons,  Jack  Sherman,  Joel  Briggs, 
Clark  Packard,  Samuel  Corey,  James  Weaver,  Clark  Crandall, 
Sampson  George,  Jedediah  Grenale,  Joseph  Ralph,  Richard 
Hare,  Darius  Wale,  Jeremiah  Thomas,  Joseph  Denis,  William 
BrufE,  Charles  Hasset,  Thomas  Wilcox,  Pardon  Cory,  John  Hunt, 
Daniel  Page  (a  Narragansett  Indian),  Thomas  Austin,  Jack  Sis- 
son  (black),  and Howe,  or  Whiting,  a  boat  steerer. 

"  Prescott,  while  in  command  at  Newport,  rendered  the  citi- 
zens uncomfortable  in  every  way  possible.  He  imprisoned  some 
of  them  for  months  without  any  assigned  reason  ;  among  others 
was  William  Tripp,  who  had  a  large  family,  but  the  tyrant  would 
not  allow  him  to  hold  any  communication  with  them,  either  writ- 
ten or  verbal.  The  first  intelligence  he  received  from  them  was 
by  a  letter,  baked  in  a  loaf  of  bread,  which  was  sent  to  him  by 
his  wife.  In  this  way  a  correspondence  was  kept  up  during  his 
confinement  of  many  months. 

"  AVhen  Prescott  took  possession  of  his  town  quarters  he  had  a 
fine  sidewalk  made  for  his  accommodation  some  distance  along 
Pelham  and  up  Spring  street,  for  which  purpose  he  took  the  door- 
steps belonging  to  other  dwellings.  The  morning  after  the  evacu- 
ation the  owners  of  the  steps  hastened  to  Prescott's  quarters,  each 
to  claim  his  door-stone.  It  was  a  very  exciting  scene,  for  some- 
times two  or  three  persons,  not  positive  in  their  identification, 
claimed  the  same  stone.  Prescott's  fine  promenade  soon  disap- 
peared, and 


"  '  The  good  citizens,  some  younger  some  older, 
Each  carrying  a  door-stone  home  on  his  shoulder,' 

bore  off  their  long-  abused  door-steps." 

Colonel  Christopher  Greene.— In  May,  1781,  a  sad  event 
occurred  which  deprived  the  country  of  the  valuable  services  of 
Colonel  Christopher  Greene,  and  of  whose  career  some  notes  in 
this  connection  will  be  made.  Colonel  Henry  Lee,  in  speaking 
of  him,  says : 

"  Exhibiting  in  early  life  his  capacity  and  amiability,  he  was 
elected  by  his  native  town  to  a  seat  in  the  colonial  legislature  in 
October,  1770,  and  he  continued  to  fill  the  same  by  successive 
elections  until  October,  1772.  In  1774  the  legislature  wisely  es- 
tablished a  military  corps,  styled  the  '  Kentish  Guards,'  for  the 
purpose  of  fitting  the  most  select  of  her  youth  for  military  offi- 
cers. In  this  corps  young  Greene  was  chosen  a  lieutenant,  and 
in  May,  1775,  he  was  appointed  by  the  legislature  a  major  in  what 
was  called '  An  army  of  Observation,'  a  brigade  of  1,600  effectives, 
under  the  orders  of  his  near  relative.  Brigadier  Greene,  afterward 
so  celebrated. 

"  From  this  situation  he  was  promoted  to  the  command  of  a 
company  of  infantry  in  one  of  the  regiments  raised  by  the  state, 
for  continental  service.  The  regiment  to  which  he  belonged  was 
attached  to  the  army  of  Canada,  conducted  by  General  Mont- 
gomery. In  the  attack  upon  Quebec,  which  terminated  the  cam- 
paign, as  well  as  the  life  of  the  renowned  Montgomery,  Captain 
Greene  belonged  to  the  column  which  entered  the  town,  and  was 
taken  prisoner." 

As  soon  as  Captain  Greene  was  exchanged  he  was  promoted  to 
major  of  Varnum's  regiment.  In  1777  he  succeeded  to  the  com- 
mand of  the  regiment,  and  was  selected  by  Washington  to  take 
command  of  Fort  Mercer  (commonly  called  Red  Bank),  and  for 
the  gallant  defense  of  this  fort  Congress  made  a  suitable  ac- 
knowledgment by  passing  a  resolution  November  4th,  1777, 
"  That  an  elegant  sword  be  provided  by  the  Board  of  War  and 
presented  to  Col.  Greene."  Colonel  Greene  did  not  live  to  receive 
the  sword,  but  several  years  after  his  death  it  was  presented  to 
his  son,  Job  Greene,  of  Centreville. 

Continuing,  Colonel  Lee  says:  "In  the  spring  of  1781,  when 
General  Washington  began  to  expect  the  promised  aid  from  our 
best  friend,  the  ill-fated  Louis  XVI.,  he  occasionally  approached 
the  enemy's  lines  on  the  side  of  York  Island.     In  one  of  these 


movements  Colonel  Greene,  with  a  suitable  force,  was  posted  on- 
the  Croton  river  in  advance  of  the  army.  On  the  other  side  of 
this  river  lay  a  corps  of  refugees  (American  citizens  who  had 
joined  the  British  army),  under  the  command  of  Colonel  De- 
lancy.  These  half  citizens,  half  soldiers,  were  notorious  for 
rapine  and  murder  ;  and  to  their  vindictive  conduct  may  be  as- 
cribed most  of  the  cruelties  which  stained  the  progress  of  our 
war,  and  which  compelled  Washington  to  order  Captain  Asgill, 
of  the  British  army,  to  be  brought  to  headquarters  for  the  pur- 
pose of  retaliating,  by  his  execution,  for  the  murder  of  Captain 
Huddy,  of  New  Jersey,  perpetrated  by  a  Captain  Lippincourt,  of 
the  refugees.  The  commandant  of  these  refugees  (Delancy  was 
not  present)  having  ascertained  the  position  of  Greene's  corps, 
which  the  colonel  had  cantoned  in  adjacent  farm  houses, — prob- 
ably with  a  view  to  the  procurement  of  subsistence, — took  the 
resolution  to  strike  it.  This  was  accordingly  done  by  a  nocturnal 
movement  on  the  13th  of  May.  The  enemy  crossed  the  Croton 
before  daylight,  and  hastening  his  advance  reached  our  station 
with  the  dawn  of  day,  unperceived.  As  he  approached  the  farm 
house  in  which  the  lieutenant-colonel  was  quartered,  the  noise 
of  troops  marching  was  heard,  which  was  the  first  intimation  of 
the  fatal  design.  Greene  and  Major  Flagg  immediately  pre- 
pared themselves  for  defense,  but  they  were  too  late,  so  expedi- 
tious was  the  progress  of  the  enemy.  Flagg  discharged  his  pis- 
tols, and  instantly  afterwards  fell  mortally  wounded,  when  the 
ruffians  (unworthy  of  the  appellation  of  soldiers)  burst  open  the 
door  of  Greene's  apartment.  Here  the  gallant  veteran  singly  re- 
ceived them  with  his  drawn  sword.  Several  fell  beneath  the  arm 
accustomed  to  conquer,  till  at  length,  overpowered  by  numbers 
and  faint  from  the  loss  of  blood  streaming  from  his  wounds, 
barbarity  triumphed  over  valor.  His  right  arm  was  almost  cut 
off  in  two  places,  the  left  in  one,  a  severe  cut  on  the  left  shoulder, 
a  sword  thrust  through  the  abdomen,  a  bayonet  in  the  right  side, 
several  sword  cuts  on  the  head  and  many  in  different  parts  of 
the  body. 

"  Thus  cruelly  mangled,  fell  the  generous  conqueror  of  Count 
Dunop,  whose  wounds,  as  well  as  those  of  his  unfortunate  asso- 
ciates, had  been  tenderly  dressed  as  soon  as  the  battle  terminated, 
and  whose  pains  and  sorrows  had  been  as  tenderly  assuaged. 
The  commander-in-chief  heard  with  anguish  and  indignation 
the  tragical  fate  of  his  loved — his  faithful  friend  and  soldier — 


in  whose  feelings  the  army  sincerely  participated.  On  the  sub- 
sequent day  the  corpse  was  brought  to  headquarters,  and  his 
funeral  was  solemnized  with  military  honors  and  universal 

Lieutenant-colonel  Greene  was  but  forty-four  years  old  when 
he  was  murdered.  He  married  in  1758  Anna,  daughter  of  J. 
Lippitt,  Esq.,  of  Warwick.  His  home  was  in  C'entreville.  His 
house  stood  where  now  stands  the  Levally  House.  He  was  a  son 
of  Philip  Greene,  an  associate  judge  of  the  supreme  court  in 
1758,  and  great-grandson  of  Deputy  John  Greene. 

General  Nathaniel  Greene  was  born  June  6th,  1742,  in  that 
part  of  the  town  of  Warwick  still  known  by  its  original  name  of 
Powtowomut.  He  was  the  fifth  in  descent  from  John  Greene, 
St.,  who  with  a  few  companions  took  up  their  solitary  abode  in 
the  then  wilderness  of  Shawomet,  a  century  before.  Nathaniel 
Greene,  his  father,  was  a  Quaker  and  an  eloquent  preacher.  He 
owned  a  forge,  grist  mill  and  saw  mill,  which  he  had  set  up  on 
the  little  river  that  wended  its  way  through  his  lands.  Under 
his  care  his  eight  sons  grew  to  manhood.  He  was  a  rigid  dis- 
ciplinarian and  trained  his  children  according  to  the  old  maxim, 
with  the  rod. 

General  Greene  early  manifested  an  ardent  desire  for  knowl- 
edge, which  was  gratified  as  far  as  opportunities  allowed.  As  he 
approached  his  majority  the  natural  inclination  for  society 
strongly  developed  itself,  but  the  frequent  merry  makings  in  the 
surrounding  families  during  the  long  winter  evenings  were  es- 
pecially coveted  and  could  be  enjoyed  only  by  stealth.  Upon 
the  return  from  one  of  these  occasions  he  discovered  the  person 
of  his  father  patiently  waiting,  whip  in  hand,  beneath  the  very 
window  through  which  he  alone  could  find  entrance.  In  this 
emergency,  knowing  there  was  no  remedy  against  the  applica- 
tion of  the  rod,  he  conceived  an  idea  which  suggested  a  ready 
capacity  for  military  resource.  A  pile  of  shingles  lay  at  hand 
and  before  he  supposed  his  father  beheld  his  approach  he  insin- 
uated beneath  his  jacket  a  sufficient  number  of  thin  layers  of 
shingles  to  shield  his  back  and  shoulders  from  the  thong.  With 
this  secret  corset  he  approached  and  received  his  punishment 
with  the  most  exemplary  fortitude.  The  old  man  laid  on  with 
the  utmost  unction,  but  the  hardy  resignation  with  which  the 
lad  received  his  punishment  was  exemplary. 

The  danger  that  threatened  the  colonies  awakened  his  patri- 


otic  sentiments,  and  turned  the  current  of  his  boyhood  teachings 
of  non-resistance  into  war-like  channels,  and  led  him  by  diligent 
study  of  such  books  as  he  could  procure,  to  prepare  himself  for 
the  active  and  important  position  to  which  he  was  subsequently 

Previous  to  the  breaking  out  of  the  revolutionary  war,  in  con- 
nection with  several  of  his  brothers,  he  removed  to  Coventry, 
where  he  carried  on  an  extensive  business  in  forging  anchors. 
Their  forge  stood  near  where  the  Quidneck  Railroad  bridge  now 

He  married  Catharine,  daughter  of  John  Littlefield,  of  New 
Shoreham,  July  20th,  1774.  General  Greene's  subsequent  military 
career  may  be  said  to  have  commenced  the  same  year  as  his  mar- 
riage. As  a  successful  military  commander  in  the  revolutionary 
struggle  it  is  generally  allowed  that  he  stood  next  to  Washing- 
ton. In  the  latter  part  of  1785  he  removed  with  his  family  to 
Georgia,  where  he  died  on  the  19th  of  June,  1786. 

The  Dorr  Rebellion. — In  the  year  1663  the  colony  of  Rhode 
Island  received  from  Charles  II.,  king  of  Great  Britain,  a  "  charter  " 
which  up  to  the  year  1842  was  the  written  fundamental  law  of 
the  state.  After  the  American  revolution  the  royal  authority 
over  the  colony  was  repudiated,  and  Rhode  Island  became  a  free 
and  independent  state.  Most  other  states  adopted  new  forms  of 
government  at  that  time,  but  Rhode  Island  continued  under  the 
royal  charter.  The  charter  government  does  not  appear  to  have 
been  strongly  objected  to  until  1814,  when  a  bill  was  introduced 
into  the  senate  for  an  extension  of  suffrage,  which  was  defeated. 
In  the  year  1824,  by  the  direction  of  the  general  assembly,  a  writ- 
ten constitution  was  submitted  to  the  people,  who  rejected  it  by 
a  majority  of  1,538  votes. 

Thomas  W.  Dorr  was  elected  to  the  assembly  as  a  whig  in  the 
year  1833,  and  about  that  time  became  conspicuous  as  a  leader  of 
the  free  suffrage  party. 

The  most  odious  features  in  the  old  charter  were  considered 
to  be  the  inequality  of  representation,  but  more  particularly  the 
fact  that  every  voter  must  possess  $134  of  real  estate  and  his 
eldest  son  admitted  to  the  privilege  of  the  father.  The  people 
evidently  desired  a  change.  The  first  movement,  which  resulted 
in  the  Dorr  rebellion,  commenced  early  in  1841.  The  suffrage 
convention  was  held  in  Providence  on  the  7th  day  of  April,  and 
was  an  important  and  respectable  gathering,  both  as  to  numbers 


and  character.  A  second  convention  was  held  at  Newport  in  May 
following,  at  which  a  state  convention  was  appointed,  which  issued 
an  address  and  called  a  convention  to  form  a  constitution. 

Delegates  were  to  be  elected  on  the  last  Saturday  in  August, 
and  the  convention  to  assemble  on  the  first  Monday  in  October 
in  Providence.  The  general  assembly  had  already  called  a  con- 
stitutional convention  to  meet  in  November.  This  was  called 
the  "  Freeholders'  Convention,"  the  other  the  "  Suffrage  Con- 

Subsequent  meetings  followed,  in  which  general  organizations 
and  thorough  discussions  were  made  preparatory  for  a  political 
campaign.  The  suffrage  convention  submitted  a  constitution  to 
the  people  December  27th,  28th  and  29th,  1841.  When  they 
counted  the  votes,  January  12th,  1842,  they  declared  the  number 
to  be  13,944 — freemen's  or  landed  qualification  vote,  4,960  ;  non- 
freeholders'  vote,  8,984 — which  was  claimed  to  be  a  decided  ma- 
jority of  the  adult  male  citizens  of  the  state.  The  judges  of  the 
supreme  court  of  the  state  gave  an  opinion  on  the  2d  of  March, 
1842,  that  the  doings  of  the  suffrage  party  were  illegal  and  void. 
The  meeting  for  the  freeholders'  convention  was  held  on  the 
21st,  22d  and  23d  of  March.  At  this  time  the  freeholders'  con- 
stitution was  rejected;  the  vote  standing  for  the  constitution 
8,013,  and  against  it  8,689.  This  was  a  majority  of  676  against 
the  new  constitution. 

The  constitution  having  been  rejected,  the  old  form  of  govern- 
ment remained  the  same.  The  campaign  meetings  that  followed 
were  very  exciting,  and  the  time  soon  arrived  when  the  "  Law 
and  Order "  party  had  to  take  effective  measures  against  the 
Dorrites,  to  prevent  confusion  and  discord. 

Early  in  April  both  parties  sent  representatives  to  Washington 
to  secure  the  support  or  the  non-interference  of  the  general  gov- 
ernment. President  Tyler  favored  the  freeholders'  party,  but  in 
spite  of  this  the  suffrage  party  decided  to  go  ahead.  The  first 
election  under  the  suffrage  constitution  was  held  April  18th,  1842. 
Thomas  Dorr,  the  candidate  for  governor,  received  6,600  votes. 
The  election  under  the  old  charter  was  held  two  days  .later,  and 
Samuel  Ward  King  was  elected  by  a  large  majority  over  Thomas 
F.  Carpenter,  who  headed  the  democratic  ticket. 

On  May  3d,  those  elected  under  the  suffrage  constitution  or- 
ganized in  Providence,  at  which  time  Dorr  delivered  a  long  mes- 
sage. Welcome  B.  Sayles  was  chosen  speaker  of  the  house  of 
what  was  termed  the  "  Foundry  Legislature." 


The  charter,  or  legal  general  assembly,  met  in  Newport  on  the 
4th  of  May,  and  called  on  the  president  of  the  United  States  for 

...assistance.  A  number  of  persons— Burlington  Anthony,  Hezekiah 
Willard  and  others— were  arrested  for  accepting  office  under  the 

.  suffrage  constitution,  President  Tyler  announcing  by  letter  in 
the  meantime  that  he  would  sustain  by  force,  if  need  be,  the 

■  charter  government. 

On  May  16th,  Dorr  arrived  in  Providence  and  immediately 
issued  a  proclamation  forbidding  any  more  arrests  of  his  ad- 
herents, and  on  the  17th  he  ordered  out  the  suffrage  militia  to 
.  assemble  in  Providence  and  await  orders.  Three  or  four  hun- 
*dred  men  assembled  at  Dorr's  headquarters  that  night  and  made 
.  a  movement  against  the  arsenal,  but  the  project  proved  a  com- 
plete failure. 

On  the  18th,  about  eight  hundred  law  and  order  troops  ap- 

-  peared  on  the  streets  of  Providence,  and  an  effort  was  made  to 
..arrest  Dorr,  but  he  fled  from  the  state.  Most  of  the  suffrage  officers 

now  resigned,  and  on  the  8th  of  June  Governor  King  offered  $1,000 
for  the  arrest  and  return  of  Dorr. 

On  June  23d  Dorr  and  his  friends  from  various  parts  of  the 
.  state  established  his  headquarters  at  Chepachet.     A  fort  was  built 
.  and  Dorr  took  command  of  the  forces,  numbering  some  five  or 
,  six  hundred  men.     Their  barricade  was  thrown  up  on  "  Acote's 
Hill."     On  the  26th  Governor  King  issued  a  proclamation,  and 
■commanded  Dorr  and  his  followers  to  disperse.     Three  thousand 
troops  were  gathered  together  in  the  city,  and  the  general  assem- 
bly declared  the  state  under  martial  law.      Insurgents'  houses 
were  searched,  prisoners  taken,  and  many  of  the  suffrage  party, 
not  being  properly  supported,  became  disgusted  and  left. 

The  government  now  ordered  out  the  Kentish  Guards,  from 
Greenwich,  to  cut  off  supplies  to  Dorr  sent  by  the  way  of  Massa- 

■  chusetts.  Some  skirmishing  ensued,  in  which  Alexander  Kilby 
was  shot  and  killed,  and  Robert  Roy  and  David  Cutting  were 
wounded.      Dorr  still  remained  intrenched  with  his  forces  on 

•"Acote's  Hill."  The  state  forces  now  surrounded  the  fort,  and 
Dorr,  perceiving  it  would  be  useless  to  fight  against  the  over- 
whelming numbers  opposing  him,  escaped  from  the  place,  taking 
his  body  guard  with  him,  and  leaving  the  rest  to  be  taken  pris- 

..  oners. 

Dorr  himself  was  arrested,  October  31st,  1843,  in  Providence, 

-  where  he  had  gone  and  boldly  entered  his  name  on  the  register 


•of  the  City  Hotel.  Deputy  Sheriff  Potter  arrested  him  and  com- 
mitted him  to  prison.  His  trial  was  begun  in  April,  1844,  at 
Newport.  He  was  sentenced  to  imprisonment  in  the  state  prison 
during  his  natural  life  June  25th,  1844,  and  was  liberated  June 
27th,  1845.  He  died  December  27th,  1852,  and  his  remains  were 
interred  in  Swan  Point  Cemetery. 

The  Kentish  Guards  held  an  important  position  during  a  por- 
tion of  the  "  Dorr  War,"  as  the  exciting  times  of  1842  were  then 
■called.  On  the  afternoon  of  the  day  when  Mr.  Dorr  and  his  fol- 
lowers threatened  an  attack  on  the  Arsenal  on  Dexter  street,  in 
Providence,  Governor  King  sent  orders  to  all  the  independent 
companies  in  the  state  to  assemble  in  Providence  as  soon  as  pos- 
sible. The  Kentish  Guards  marched  and  paraded  through  the 
•streets  during  the  afternoon  and  evening,  but  as  their  services 
were  not  required  they  were  dismissed,  to  their  very  great  satis- 
faction. When  the  second  call  for  troops  was  made  in  June,  it 
was  very  difficult  to  get  the  company  together.  Some  of  them 
thought  there  might  be  danger  and  they  had  better  keep  away, 
and  although  Colonel  Allen  made  every  exertion  and  performed 
his  duty  to  the  utmost,  he  was  unable  to  fill  up  the  ranks  without 
volunteers,  although  most  of  those  who  volunteered  were  already 
exempt  from  military  duty.  When  all  the  arrangements  were 
made  the  company  were  told  to  be  ready  at  a  minute's  warning, 
as  Colonel  Allen  was  expecting  a  call  at  any  moment.  At  length 
it  came,  on  Sunday  afternoon,  during  the  church  services.  A 
train  of  cars  arrived  from  Providence,  with  an  urgent  request 
from  the  governor  to  Colonel  Allen  to  come  as  soon  as  possible, 
for  the  rebels  were  making  a  serious  demonstration  at  Pawtucket. 
When  the  court  house  bell  rang  the  company  assembled  and 
were  soon  on  their  way  to  the  seat  of  war. 

The  following  from  the  Providence  Journal  wiW  give  an  idea  how 
well  the  Kentish  Guards  performed  their  duty,  and  how  much 
real  danger  they  encountered  at  Pawtucket.  Some  of  the  mem- 
bers were  so  much  injured  by  the  stones  and  other  missiles 
that  they  were  compelled  to  leave  the  company  and  return 

"  Having  heard  and  seen  several  accounts  of  the  encounter  at 
Pawtucket,  on  Monday  night,  the  27th  of  June,  between  the 
military  and  the  self-styled  people,  which  accounts  not  only  es- 
sentially differ,  but  some  of  which,  it  is  believed,  were  designed 
to  convey  a  false  impression  prejudicial  both  to  the  military  and 


the  well  disposed  citizens  of  that  village,  the  following  account 
has  been  carefully  drawn  up  by  one  who  witnessed  the  whole 
scene,  from  the  entrance  of  the  troops  into  the  village  until  its 
termination  : 

"  On  Monday  afternoon  the  Kentish  Guards,  from  East  Green- 
wich, under  the  command  of  Colonel  G.  W.  T.  Allen,  consisting 
of  about  fifty  men,  were  ordered  to  repair  to  Pawtucket  and 
guard  the  bridge  over  the  Blackstone  River  at  that  village.  On 
their  arrival,  multitudes  were  assembled  in  the  streets,  as  they 
supposed,  to  witness  a  military  parade  ;  but  it  was  soon  apparent 
that  mere  curiosity  was  not  the  sole  object,  as  language  of  the 
most  insolent  and  irritating  character  was  heard,  amid  the  din  of 
hisses,  shouts  and  yells,  as  the  troops  marched  down  to  the  hotel 
on  the  corner  of  Main  and  Mill  streets ;  all  of  which  failed,  how- 
ever, of  the  intended  effect,  as  the  men  had  positive  orders  to 
observe  the  strictest  military  discipline  and  decorum,  let  their 
treatment  from  the  mob  be  ever  so  rude. 

"Arrived  at  the  hotel,  they  were  received  by  the  Pawtucket 
and  Central  Falls  volunteers,  under  the  command  of  Captain 
Potter,  and  conducted  to  their  quarters  in  the  hall,  and  im- 
mediately placed  a  guard  at  the  main  entrance  to  the  hotel,  with 
the  intention  of  partaking  of  some  refreshments  before  they  took 
command  of  the  pass  across  the  bridge. 

"  The  officers  had  scarcely  reached  the  hall  before  a  shout  from 
without  announced  an  attack  upon  the  guard  at  the  entrance  on 
Mill  street ;  and  on  looking  out  one  of  the  sovereigns  was  seen 
brandishing  a  bayonet,  which  he  had  wrested  from  the  musket 
of  one  of  the  guard,  but  which  was  soon  recovered,  the  guard  at 
the  door  strengthened,  and  a  file  of  men  placed  across  Main 
street,  from  the  old  market  to  the  corner  of  Main  and  Mill 
streets.  To  this  point  as  far  as  could  be  seen  on  the  Massa- 
chusetts side,  the  streets  and  bridge  presented  one  dense  jnass  of 
human  beings,  male  and  female,  old  and  young,  even  nursing- 
infants  with  their  mothers,  and  the  streets  around  the  hotel  were 
fast  filling  up. 

"  The  guard  maintained  their  position  in  the  rain,  standing  at 
'  secure  arms '  or  '  charge  bayonet '  for  about  an  hour,  while 
the  Pawtucket  and  Central  Falls  volunteers  (twenty-five  only  of 
whom  were  armed)  organized  and  loaded  their  guns  from  the 
supplies  of  the  Kentish  Guards,  as  they  were  entirely  without 
ammunition,  organization  or  discipline  ;   when  it  was  deemed 


necessary  to  strengthen  it,  and  a  file  of  men  formed  across  Main, 
opposite  the  middle  of  Mill,  at  its  junction  with  Main  street, 
about  ten  or  twelve  paces  in  the  rear  of  the  front  line,  and  an- 
other under  the  piazza  in  front  of  the  hotel,  in  Main  street,  in 
order  to  keep  their  guns  dry,  in  case  it  became  necessary  to 
fire  on  the  mob. 

"  These  preparations  for  defence,  instead  of  dispersing  the 
rioters,  only  tended  to  increase. the  excitement  which  had  risen 
almost  to  frenzy,  and  in  a  few  minutes  the  guards  on  every  line 
were  as  closely  surrounded  as  their  arms  would  allow,  by  friend 
and  foe  undistinguishable,  and  as  some  demonstrations  were 
made  to  disarm  them,  the  front  line  was  now  marched  into  the 
rear  line,  under  cover  of  that  on  the  side  of  the  hotel  and  faced 
from  the  bridge  two  paces  from  that  facing  the  bridge. 

"  This  retrograde  movement,  however  necessary  for  their  own 
safety,  had  a  bad  effect,  as  it  proved  ;  for  the  mob,  thinking  that 
it  was' a  signal  of  a  retreat  of  the  whole  force,  followed  up  the 
advantage  which  the  movement  gave  them,  and  closed  in  on  all 
sides,  so  that  it  was  with  great  difficulty  they  could  be  kept 
from  rushing  between  the  lines  at  the  short  distance  between 

"  At  this  juncture  the  mob  east  of  the  bridge  receded  right 
and  left,  until  they  had  opened  up  to  the  front  line,  when  a  horse 
in  a  carriage,  containing  two  persons  in  male  and  one  in  female 
attire,  was  driven  up  to  the  line,  and  the  driver  demanded  a  pass 
through.  The, officer  in  command  asked  him  to  pass  round  the 
left  of  his  line,  in  Mill  street,  but  he  persisted  in  his  right  to  pass 
through  his  ranks,  and  would  have  done  so,  had  not  the  horse 
been  seized  by  the  bridle  and  wheeled  off,  when  he  passed  up 
Main  street  a  short  distance,  wheeled  round,  and  drove  down 
furiously  upon  the  other  line ;  again  he  was  frustrated,  passed 
around  the  lines,  and  disappeared  east  of  the  bridge  for  a  few 
minutes,  when  he  returned  to  the  assault ;  and  as  it  was  now 
evident  that  he  was  intent  on  breaking  the  lines  of  the  guard, 
the  officer  in  command,  ordering  his  men  to  stand  firm,  again 
exhorted  him  to  desist,  and  pass  around,  as  he  had  done  before ; 
but  the  mob  cheered  him  on  with  exclamations  of  '  Break  their 
ranks — run  down  the  cursed  Algerines — maintain  your  rights.' 
At  this  crisis,  finding  argument  and  expostulation  unavailing, 
the  men  were  now  ordered  to  rush  upon  the  horse,  rather  than 
spill  the  blood  of  the  driver,  which  so  exasperated  the  horse 


that  it  was  necessary  to  give  orders  to  fire,  which  were  fol- 
lowed by  the  discharge  of  only  three  or  four  pieces,  owing  to 
the  wet  state  of  the  priming,  sufficient,  however,  to  drive  him 
from  the  assault. 

"  This  fire  separated  the  mob  from  the  guard  sufficiently  to 
allow  the  mob  to  assail  them  with  stones,  bricks  and  bottles  of 
glass  and  stone,  weapons,  the  contents  of  which  had  tended, 
probably,  to  elevate  their  courage  to  such  a  frenzied  pitch,  and 
four  of  the  guard  were  carried  in  wounded.  A  female  among 
the  mob  fell  and  was  carried  off  for  dead  ;  but  finding  that 
neither  she  nor  others  were  hurt,  they  concluded  that  blank 
cartridges  had  been  fired,  and  now  commenced  a  scene  of  which 
an  actual  opening  of  the  bottomless  pit  alone  can  convey  an 
adequate  idea. 

"  Every  exclamation  that  could  be  expected  to  irritate  the  men, 
such  as  '  Where's  the  man  that  shot  the  cow  ?' — '  Fire  away  your 
blank  cartridges,  you  cursed  Algerines!'  with  all  the  dismal 
bowlings,  yells,  groans,  that  human  beings  ever  uttered,  arose  in 
one  universal  strain,  until  all  distinguishable  sounds  were 
drowned  in  the  terrific  din  ;  as  soon  as  Col.  Allen  could  be  heard, 
he  advanced  in  front  of  his  lines  and  ordered  the  mob  to  disperse 
at  their  peril,  assuring  them  that  his  muskets  were  loaded  with 
ball  cartridges,  and  that  however  reluctant  to  shed  human  blood, 
unless  they  dispersed,  he  should  give  orders  to  fire  ;  again  the 
air  was  rent  with,  '  Fire  away  your  blanked  cartridges,  you 
cursed  Algerines !'  and  the  assault  with  stones  and  other  missiles 
was  renewed. 

"  A  detachment  of  men  reloaded  and  primed,  now  advanced 
to  the  front,  and  again  they  were  ordered  to  disperse  with  the 
same  effect,  and  unable  longer  to  withstand  the  assault  the  men 
were  ordered  to  fire,  when  some  five  or  six  pieces  were  dis- 
charged, none  of  which  took  effect,  as,  owing  to  the  reluctance 
of  the  troops  to  shed  blood,  they  elevated  their  pieces  above  the 
mob  ;  it  had  the  effect,  however,  to  disperse  them  in  some  meas- 
ure, as  they  receded  back  to  about  the  middle  of  the  bridge, 
where  they  again  made  a  stand  and  renewed  the  assault,  and 
were  fired  upon  again,  and  one,  the  ringleader,  fell  dead  or  mor- 
tally wounded,  and  the  rest  receded  back  upon  the  Massachusetts 
side,  and  sought  cover  behind  the  buildings,  from  which  they 
would  occasionally  sallj^  and  throw  their  missiles  at  the  guard, 
who  now  advanced  to  the  middle  of  the  bridge,  which  post  was 


maintained  until  the  guard  was  relieved  by  the  arrival  of  the  R. 
I.  Carbineers,  about  two  o'clock,  Tuesday  morning. 

"  It  is  due  to  the  Kentish  Guards  and  Pawtucket  and  Central 
Falls  volunteers,  to  say,  that  the  lawless  insolence  was  endured 
and  forbearance  exercised,  until  their  own  safety  demanded  a 
lawful  resistance  and  performance  of  their  military  duty ;  it  was 
fortunate  for  the  cause  of  humanity  that  it  was  dark  and  rainy, 
for  ha,d  the  weather  been  dry  and  the  night  bright,  hundreds  of 
lives  would  in  all  probability  have  been  sacrificed ;  happily,  but 
one  was  killed,  and  so  far  as  we  know,  but  six  or  eight  wounded 
on  both  sides ;  thus  terminated  an  encounter,  which,  while  it 
quelled  the  violence  of  a  lawless  and  desperate  mob,  failed  in 
reaching  and  bringing  to  summary  justice  the  cowardly  villains 
by  whom  the  comparatively  innocent  and  ignorant  dupes  of  their 
treachery  were  incited  to  rebellion. 

"  Some  of  the  worthy  sovereigns  of  Pawtucket  having  indus- 
triously but  falsely  circulated  a  report  that  Colonel  Allen  detailed 
a  body  of  six  men,  who  passed  the  Massachusetts  line  to  search 
for  men  and  arms  contrary  to  orders,  and  that  a  requisition  will 
be  made  by  Governor  Davis  on  their  commander-in-chief  to  have 
them  delivered  up  to  the  proper  authorities  of  that  State  for 
trial,  the  Kentish  Guards  wish  it  to  be  distinctly  understood  that 
should  such  requisition  be  made,  it  is  their  desire  that  it  might 
be  promptly  granted,  as  they  court  the  strictest  scrutiny  and  in- 
vestigation of  their  military  conduct  while  stationed  at  that  vil- 
lage, and  are  as  ready  to  be  tried  by  the  laws  of  which  they  claim 
protection  as  they  are  to  support  them." 

The  Reverend  F.  Denison  thus  graphically  describes  the  Dorr 
rebellion : 

"After  the  war  of  1812  no  military  call  passed  over  the  land  till 
the  remarkable  ferment  broke  out  in  the  state  in  1842.  This, 
from  the  name  of  the  instigator  of  the  movement,  was  denomi- 
nated the  Dorr  rebellion.  Though  somewhat  serious  it  was  a  brief 
affair,  in  which,  on  the  part  of  the  insurgents,  discretion  super- 
seded the  necessity  of  valor.  The  vicinity  of  the  Arsenal,  Fed- 
eral Hill,  Chepachet  and  Acote's  Hill,  where  the  hero  promised  to 
'  lay  his  bones,'  were  the  only  memorable  fields,  except  the  line 
of  retreat,  halting  places  of  exile,  the  court  house  and  the  state 
prison.  To  meet  the  uprising  of  the  party,  Washington  county 
sent  forward  1,100  men,  under  command  of  General  John  B.  Sted- 
man  of  Westerly. 


"Westerly  furnished  two  companies  :  the  regular  militia  com- 
pany, called  the  Westerly  Light  Infantry  Company,  of  about  fifty 
men,  under  Captain  James  H.  Perigo  ;  and  a  volunteer  company 
of  eighty  men,  under  Captain  William  Potter.    These  were  absent 
from  the  town,  in  the  vicinity  of  Providence,  only  about  a  week. 
But  they  were  under  arms  and  on  guard  duty  in  the  town  till  the 
rebellion  collapsed.    For  a  time  Westerly  was  under  martial  law, 
and  her  streets  were  patrolled  day  and  night  by  armed  men. 
The  little  academy  was  transformed  into  a  guard-house,  and  often 
contained  prisoners.      To  suppress  the  demonstrations  of   the 
Dorrites,  a  court  of  inquiry,  under  military  authority,  was  opened 
at  the  hotel  on  East  Broad  street.    Citizens  suspected  of  treason, 
or  known  to  be  abettors  of  the  insurgents,  were  made  to  bow  to 
General' Stedman's  sword.    Mr.  Joseph  Gavitt  attempted  to  resist 
the  requisition  of  the  court  by  arming  himself  in  the  chamber  of 
his  house,  but  finally  yielded  to  the  army  of  law  and  order.    Dur- 
ing the  excitement  there  was  a  great  abuse  of  the  English  lan- 
guage, and  not  a  little  loss  of  good  grammar  as  well  as  of  good 
character.      One  spunky  gun  was   fired   by  a  woman,  but  the 
»  charge  from  the  piece,  like  the  hot  volleys  from  her  lips,  went 
into  the  air.     The  musket  of  a  sentinel  on  Union  street,  in  the 
night,  somehow  took  fire,  and  the  ball  entered  a  house,  to  the 
great  alarm  of  the  inmates.     But  the  political  tempest  soon  sub- 
sided here  and  throughout  the  state.     The  ambition  of  Mr.  Dorr 
was  cooled  behind  the  bars  of  the  state  prison. 

"  Fortunately  the  whole  affair,  on  the  side  of  the  disaffected, 
was  ah  effusion  of  bad  bile  rather  than  of  valuable  blood.  They 
adopted  wrong  measures  to  secure  a  desirable  end ;  they  took 
the  path  of  anarchy  in  hope  of  reaching  the  goal  of  liberty  and 
order — a  serious  mistake,  too  often  made  by  the  ignorant  and 
ambitious.  In  the  end,  however,  the  Dorr  rebellion  moved  the 
'  Law  and  Order  Party '  to  adopt  a  new  constitution  for  the  state ; 
and  the  old  charter,  dating  from  1663,  was  laid  aside  to  be  hon- 
ored in  our  archives.  Thus  even  discontents  are  made  to  con- 
tribute to  the  progress  of  society." 

The  Civil  War. — The  rebellion  against  the  government  of 
the  United  States  assumed  positive  form  by  the  bombardment  of 
Fort  Sumter,  then  occupied  by  a  single  company  under  the  com- 
mand of  Major  Robert  Anderson,  in  April,  1861.  On  the  15th 
of  the  same  month  the  president  of  the  United  States  made  a  call 
upon  the  states  for  seventy-five  thousand  men,  to  serve  three 


months  in  suppressing  this  outbreak,  and  on  the  day  following, 
in  response  to  this  call,  an  order  was  issued  by  Governor  Sprague 
for  an  immediate  organization  of  the  First  Regiment,  and  in  a 
few  days  the  order  was  completed.  The  regiment  proceeded  to 
Washington  in  two  detachments ;  the  first  under  command  of 
Colonel  Ambrose  E.  Burnside,  leaving  Providence  April  20th, 
and  the  second  under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Joseph  S.  Pitman,  on 
the  24th.  The  quarters  of  this  regiment  were  established  at  Camp 
Sprague,  Washington.  On  the  10th  of  June  it  marched  on  an 
expedition  toward  Harper's  Ferry  to  join  other  forces  under  Gen- 
eral Patterson,  for  the  purpose  of  dislodging  the  rebels  under 
General  Joseph  E.  Johnston,  then  holding  that  place.  The  evacu- 
ation of  Harper's  Ferry,  however,  necessitated  a  return  to  Wash- 
ington city  after  the  regiment  had  reached  Williamsport,  Md. 
The  expedition  was  accompanied  by  Governor  Sprague  and  his 
aid-de-camp,  Colonel  John  A.  Gardiner.  The  first  battle  in  which 
this  regiment  participated  was  on  the  21st  of  July  at  Bull  Run. 
In  the  perils  of  this  fight  Governor  Sprague  shared,  having  at- 
tached himself  to  Burnside's  brigade  as  a  volunteer.  He  was 
present  in  the  thickest  of  the  fight,  and  had  a  horse  shot  under 

The  term  of  service  having  expired,  the  regiment  broke  camp 
July  25th,  and  reached  Providence  Sunday  morning  the  28th, 
bringing  the  sick  and  wounded  that  did  not  fall  into  the  hands 
of  the  enemy.  The  First  Regiment  Rhode  Island  Detached 
Militia  was  commanded  by  Colonel  Ambrose  E.  Burnside,  Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Joseph  S.  Pitman,  1st  Major  John  S.  Slocum,  2d 
Major  William  Goddard,  Surgeon  (major)  Francis  L.  Wheaton. 

Under  the  first  call  of  the  president  of  the  United  States  for 
additional  troops  to  serve  three  years,  or  during  the  war, 
the  Second  Regiment  of  Rhode  Island  volunteers  was  or- 
ganized. The  work  of  enlistment  was  spiritedly  prosecuted 
Tinder  an  order  from  Governor  Sprague,  Camp  Burnside  at  Provi- 
dence being  established,  with  Major  John  S.  Slocum  of  the  First 
Regiment  in  command  as  colonel,  and  Colonel  William  Goddard, 
■of  the  governor's  staff,  as  temporary  lieutenant-colonel,  who  was 
succeeded  by  General  Charles  T.  Robbins. 

On  June  22d,  the  regiment,  accompanied  by  Governor  Sprague, 
proceeded  to  Washington.  The  history  of  this  regiment  may  be 
found  in  the  history  of  the  battles  of  First  Bull  Run,  Yorktown, 
Williamsburg,  Malvern  Hill,  Antietam,  Fredericksburg,  Marye's 


Heights,  Salem  Heights,  Gettysburg,  Rappahannock  Station, 
Wilderness,  Spottsylvania,  Cold  Harbor,  Petersburg,  Fort  Stevens 
and  Opequan.  The  names  of  these  battles,  under  general  orders 
from  the  war  department,  by  order  of  General  Meade,  March  7th, 
1865,  were  inscribed  upon  its  colors.  The  regiment  was  mustered 
out  of  the  service  at  Hall's  Hill,  Va.,  July  13th,  1865. 

The  Fourth  Regiment,  Rhode  Island  volunteers,  was  organized 
in  September,  1861,  and  in  October  placed  in  command  of  Colonel 
Isaac  P.  Rodman.  Included  among  the  troops  selected  for  the 
North  Carolina  campaign  under  General  Burnside,  it  made  part 
of  the  Third  brigade  of  the  coast  division.  They  were  engaged 
at  Roanoke  island,  where  they  were  gallantly  led,  and  later  dis- 
tinguished themselves  in  the  capture  of  Newbern.  When  Burn- 
side  was  ordered  from  North  Carolina  to  the  support  of  McClel- 
lan  in  the  peninsula,  the  Fourth  Rhode  Island  moved  with  his 
command.  They  were  hotly  engaged  at  South  Mountain  and 
Antietam.  In  this  last  bloody  affair  their  commander.  Colonel 
Steere,  was  badly  wounded,  and  their  old  commander.  General 
Rodman,  killed.  In  November  they  lost  their  lieutenant-colonel, 
Joseph  B.  Curtis,  killed  while  forming  line  before  Fredericksburg. 
In  July  the  regiment  was  transferred  to  the  Seventh  corps,  but 
rejoined  the  Ninth  before  Petersburg  in  1864,  and  took  part  in 
the  assault  on  the  rebel  lines.  It  was  permitted  to  inscribe  on 
its  colors  the  names  :  "  Roanoke  Island,  Newbern,  Fort  Macon, 
South  Mountain,  Antietam,  Fredericksburg,  Suffolk, Weldon  Rail- 
road, Poplar  Spring  Church,  Hatcher's  Run." 

The  Seventh  Regiment,  Rhode  Island  volunteers,  was  called 
to  serve  during  the  war.  The  general  order  was  issued  May 
22d,  1862.  Camp  Bliss  was  established  in  South  Providence  for 
drill.  Welcome  B.  Sayles  began  the  work  of  enlisting  soldiers. 
The  regiment  was  raised,  and  on  September  10th  it  broke  camp, 
and  under  the  command  of  Colonel  Zenas  R.  Bliss,  proceeded  to 
Washington.  It  was  mustered  out  of  service  June  9th,  1865.  By 
general  orders  the  names  of  the  following  battles  in  which  the 
regiment  had  borne  a  meritorious  part  were  directed  to  be  in- 
scribed on  its  colors :  "  Fredericksburg,  Siege  of  Vicksburg, 
Jackson,  Spottsylvania,  North  Anna,  Cold  Harbor,  Petersburg, 
Weldon  Railroad,  Poplar  Spring  Church,  Hatcher's  Run." 

The  Ninth  Regiment,  Rhode  Island  volunteers,  was  organized 
by  Colonel  Charles  T.  Robbins,  It  was  a  three  months'  regiment. 
In  1862  the  rebel  general,  Thomas  J.  Jackson,  familiarly  known 


as  Stonewall  Jackson,  with  a  large  body  of  men,  made  a  sudden 
raid  up  the  valley  of  the  Shenandoah,  and  threatened  the  safety 
of  Washington.  In  view  of  actual  and  possible  needs,  the  sec- 
retary of  war  sent  on  the  25th  of  ^May  a  telegram  to  the  governor 
of  Rhode  Island  for  the  immediate  forwarding  to  the  national 
capital  of  all  the  available  troops  in  the  state  to  serve  in  the  de- 
fenses for  a  period  of  three  months.  This  telegram  was  received 
by  Governor  Sprague  at  midnight,  and  before  sunrise  measures 
had  been  taken  to  comply  with  the  call,  and  in  two  days  from 
that  time  the  Lonsdale  National  Guards,  the  Natic  National 
Guards,  the  Westerly  National  Guards,  and  the  Pawtucket  Bat- 
talion, four  full  companies,  reported  for  diity,  and  left  Providence 
May  27th  for  Washington.  The  regiment  first  spent  a  month 
in  drill,  and  then  crossed  the  Potomac.  It  relieved  the  Ninety- 
ninth  Pennsylvania  volunteers,  who  joined  the  army  of  General 
McClellan,  in  the  peninsula.  At  the  expiration  of  the  time  of 
enlistment  the  regiment  returned  to  Providence. 

The  Twelfth  Regiment,  Rhode  Island  volunteers,  was  under 
the  command  of  Honorable  George  H.  Browne,  his  commission 
as  colonel  bearing  date  September  18th,  1862,  the  regiment  being 
mustered  into  service  October  13th.  The  regiment  moved  to 
Washington,  where  it  took  quarters  at  Camp  Chase.  The  regi- 
ment was  in  the  hottest  part  of  the  fight  at  Fredericksburg, 
where  it  lost  one  hundred  and  nine  men,  killed  and  wounded. 
On  January  9th,  1863,  it  accompanied  the  Ninth  Army  Corps  to 
the  Peninsula,  but  soon  after  became  the  Twelfth,  under  General 
Burnside,  and  its  operations  were  changed  to  points  in  Kentucky 
and  Tennessee  and  other  places,  under  his  command,  until  July 
19th,  1863,  it  was  mustered  out  of  service.  During  the  term  of 
nine  months  it  travelled  3,500  miles,  500  of  which  were  on  foot. 

The  soldiers  in  the  late  war  from  Washington  and  Kent  coun- 
ties mostly  enlisted  in  the  regiments  named  above,  but  there 
were  besides  others  represented  in  every  regiment  that  went 
from  Rhode  Island.  The  history  of  these  two  counties  in  that 
dreadful  conflict  would  be  that  of  the  state,  but  for  the  scattering 
list  represented  by  each  of  the  towns,  we  refer  our  readers  to  the 
adjutant-general's  report  of  1865,  where  they  will  also  find  many 
names  in  the  various  artillery  and  cavalry  companies  not  included 
in  the  statement  made  above. 

For  this  war  Washington  county  furnished  2,717  men,  and 
Kent  county  2,139. 



History  of  the  Courts.— List  of  Rhode  Island  Governors  from  Washington  and 
Kent  Counties. — The  Attorneys-General. — Bar  Compact. — Daniel  Updike. — 
Lodovvick  Updike.— Wilkins  Updike.— Samuel  Ward.— Harry  Babcock.— 
James  Mitchell  Varnum. — Stephen  Arnold. — Richard  Ward  Greene.^ 
Rouse  T.  Helme. — Archibald  Campbell. — Jacob  Campbell. — Benjamin  Thur- 
ston.—Joseph  L.  Tillinghast.— Nathan  F.  Dixon  —John  H.  Cross.— Elisha  E. 
Potter,  Sr.— Elisha  R.  Potter.— Judge  Dutee  Arnold.— Sylvester  Gardiner 
Shearman. — George  A.  Brayton. — Albert  Collins  Greene. — Nathan  Whiting. — 
William  G.  Bowen. — Joseph  Windsor. — William  E.  Peck. — John  Hall. — 
David  S.  Baker,  Jr. — William  C.  Baker. — Elisha  C.  Clark. — Henry  Howard. 
— E.  H.  Hazard. — Henry  B.  Anthony. — Thomas  H.  Peabody. — Charles 
Perrin. ^Albert  B.  Crafts. — Albert  B.  Burdick. — Henry  Whipple. — Eugene 
F.  Warner. — Nathan  B.  Lewis. — Samuel  W.  K.  Allen. — Benjamin  W.  Case. 
— Charles  J.  Arms. 

THE  people  of  Rhode  Island  seem  at  first  to  have  transacted 
their  judicial  as  well  as  their  other  public  business  in  town 
meeting.  They  agreed  to  be  governed  by  "  the  major 
consent "  of  the  freemen  of  the  town  "  only  in  civil  things." 
While  the  commonwealth  remained  an  uncontentious  society 
this  system  was  good  enough. 

In  1640  provisions  for  compulsory  arbitrations  were  adopted. 
The  Portsmouth  settlers,  following  Judaic  example,  chose  a  judge 
to  exercise  authority  among  them,  the  people  agreeing  to  submit 
their  persons,  lives  and  estates  "  unto  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  the 
king  of  kings  and  Lord  of  Lords,  and  to  all  those  perfect  and 
most  absolute  laws  of  His,  given  in  His  Holy  Word  of  Truth,  to 
be  guided  and  judged  thereby."  Before  the  year  was  out  three 
elders  were  associated  with  the  judge  to  assist  him  in  drawing 
up  such  rules  and  laws  as  should  be  "  according  to  God,"  etc. 
The  elders  were  afterward  increased  to  seven,  but  the  town  meet- 
ing remained  the  supreme  court  of  the  land. 

At  Newport  the  governor  and  assistants  were  made  justices  of 
the  peace  cx-officio.  Courts  consisting  of  magistrates  and  jurors 
were  ordained  to  be  held  every  quarter  at  Newport  and  Ports- 


mouth  alternately,  with  power  to  judge  all  cases  and  actions  that 
should  be  presented.  In  1647  the  first  charter  went  into  effect, 
and  the  mainland  was  united  with  the  island  towns  at  this  time. 
Under  the  new  system  the  chief  officers  of  the  government  were 
a  president  and  four  assistants,  one  from  each  town.  To  them 
was  committed  the  duty  of  holding  twice  yearly  the  general  court 
of  trials  for  the  whole  colony ;  a  court  which  was  the  predecessor 
of  the  present  supreme  court  of  the  state.  This  court,  when  first 
established,  had  jurisdiction  of  the  higher  class  of  crimes,  of  cases 
between  town  and  town,  of  cases  between  parties  living  in  dif- 
ferent towns,  etc.,  etc. 

The  other  tribunals  were  the  town  or  local  courts,  with  ap- 
pellate jurisdiction  over  them.  In  1663  the  royal  charter  of 
Charles  II.  was  received.  This  charter  provided  for  the  election 
of  a  governor,  a  deputy  governor,  ten  assistants  and  a  body  of 
deputies.  This  body  possessed  full  governmental  powers.  The 
function  of  the  deputies  were  purely  legislative.  This  charter 
empowered  the  general  assembly  to  create  judicial  tribunals. 
At  its  first  session,  accordingly,  it  was  provided  that  the  governor 
or  deputy  governor,  with  at  least  six  assistants,  should  hold  the 
general  court  of  trials  at  Newport  every  year,  in  May  and  Oc- 
tober, but  the  terms  were  soon  after  changed  to  March  and  Sep- 
tember. There  was  also  provided  a  special  court  for  Providence 
and  Warwick. 

In  1729  the  next  change  occurred.  The  colony  then  was  di- 
vided into  three  counties :  Newport,  Providence  and  Kings.  A 
criminal  and  a  civil  court  for  each  county  were  established.  The 
criminal  courts  were  denominated  courts  of  general  sessions  of 
the  peace,  and' were  held  twice  a  year  in  each  county  by  the  jus- 
tices of  the  peace  of  the  county,  five  of  them  being  a  quorum. 
The  civil  courts,  called  courts  of  common  pleas,  were  held  by 
"  four  judicious  and  skillful  persons  "  chosen  by  the  general  as- 
sembly from  the  counties  in  which  they  were  to  act,  and  com- 
missioned by  the  governor  to  hold  their  offices  Qiiamdiu  se  bene 
gesserit.  This  court  held  its  sessions  twice  a  j-ear  in  each  coun- 
ty. The  higher  court,  which  now  received  the  name  of  "  Super- 
ior Court  of  Judicature,  Court  of  Assize  and  General  Gaol  De- 
livery." continued  to  be  held  exclusively  at  Newport.  In  1747, 
in  lieu  of  the  governor  or  deputy-governor  and  the  ten  assistants, 
there  were  to  be  five  judges  and  four  associates,  three  being  a 


quorum.     They  were  to  be  chosen  annually  by  the  general  as- 

In  1780,  the  legislative  and  judicial  powers  to  be  united  in  the 
same  person  was  declared  incompatible  with  the  constitution,  and 
thereafter  no  member  of  either  house  of  the  assembly  was  al- 
lowed to  fill  the  office  of  a  justice  of  a  supreme  court.  In  1798 
the  name  of  the  court  was  changed  to  "  The  Supreme  Judicial 
Court,"  which  it  retained  down  to  the  adoption  of  the  Constitu- 
tion in  1843,  when,  dropping  "  Judicial,"  it  became  the  "  Supreme 

In  1875  the  number  of  the  judges,  which  had  been  four  since 
1843,  was  increased  to  five. 

May  27th,  1886,  the  district  courts  were  established,  Washing- 
ton county  being  divided  into  two,  and  Kent  county  being  made 
one  -distri<;t. 

The  town  councils  of  the  several  towns  were  from  the  first 
courts  of  probate  of  wills,  not  to  the  town  councils,  but  to  the 
head  officers  of  the  town.  The  Code  devolves  the  duty  upon  the 
town  council,  of  property  owners  dying  intestate  to  make 
wills,  etc. 

Governors. — Inasmuch  as  the  governors  of  the  state  formed 
such  an  important  element  in  the  judicial  history,  we  here  insert 
the  names  of  those  from  Washington  and  Kent  counties,  it  being  a 
record  that  should  be  preserved  :  John  Smith,  of  Warwick,  May, 
1649,  to  May,  1650;  Samuel  Gorton,  of  Warwick,  October,  1651,, 
to  May,  1652 ;  John  Smith,  of  Warwick,  May,  1652,  to  May,  1653  ;. 
William  Greene,  of  Warwick,  May,  1743,  to  May,  1745 ;  from 
May,  1746,  to  May,  1747 ;  from  May,  1748,  to  May,  1755,  and  from 
May,  1757,  to  February,  1758,  when  he  died  in  office ;  Samuel 
Ward,  of  Westerly,  from  May,  1762,  to  May,  1763,  and  from 
May,  1765,  to  May,  1767;  William  Greene,  of  Warwick,  May, 
1778,  to  1786 ;  John  Brown  Francis,  of  Warwick,  from  1833  to- 
1838 ;  William  Sprague,  of  Warwick,  from  1838  to  1839  ;  Elisha 
Harris,  of  Coventry,  1847  to  1849 ;  Henry  Howard,  of  Coventry, 
1873  to  1875;  John  W.  Davis,  of  Pawtucket,  1887;  William 
Sprague,  now  of  South  Kingstown,  but  then  of  Providence,  was. 
elected  governor  in  1860,  and  held  the  position  to  March  3d, 
1863,  when  he  resigned  to  accept  the  office  of  United  States, 

Deputy-Governors.— John  Greene,  of  Warwick,  1690- to  1700; 
Thomas  Frye,  of  East  Greenwich,  1727  to  1729  ;  George  Hassard, 


of  South  Kingstown,  1734  to  1738 ;  William  Greene,  of  Warwick, 
1740  to  1743 ;  William  Robinson,  of  South  Kingstown,  1745  to 
1746,  and  from  1747  to  1748 ;  Robert  Hazard,  of  South  Kings- 
town, 1750  to  1751 ;  Samuel  J.  Potter,  of  South  Kingstown,  1790 
to  1799. 

Lieutenant-Governors.— Samuel  J.  Potter,  of  South  Kings- 
town, February  to  May,  1799,  1800  to  1803 ;  George  Brown,  of 
South  Kingstown,  1799  to  1800 ;  Benjamin  Thurston,  of  Hopkin- 
ton,  1816  to  1817 ;  Edward  Wilcox,  of  Charlestown,  1817  to  1821  ■, 
Jeffrey  Hazard,  of  Exeter,  1833  to  1835,  and  from  1836  to  1837 ;, 
Benjamin  B.  Thurston,  of  Hopkinton,  1837  to  1838 ;  Elisha  Har- 
ris, of  Coventry,  1846  to  1847 ;  Thomas  Whipple,  of  Coventry ,^ 
1849  to  1851  ;  John  J.  Reynolds,  of  North  Kingstown,  1854  to 
1855;  Nicholas  Brown,  of  Warwick,  1856  to  1857;  William 
Greene,  of  Warwick,  1866  to  1868. 

The  first  charter  for  the  colony  of  Rhode  Island  was  obtained 
by  Roger  Williams  in  1643-4.  The  people  were  obstructed, 
however,  in  erecting  a  government  under  it  until  1647.  In  1650 
the  legislature  first  created  the  ofl&ce  of  attorney-general  and  of 
solicitor-general  of  the  colony,  and  the  people  by  general  ticket 
elected  in  May  of  that  year,  William  Dyre  to  the  first  office  and 
Hugh  Burt  to  the  second.  This  same  year  William  Coddington 
embarked  for  England  and  in  1651  obtained  a  charter  for  Rhode 
Island  proper,  and  the  islands  in  the  Narragansett  bay.  New- 
port and  Portsmouth  submitted  to  this  government ;  Providence 
and  Warwick  continued  under  the  old  charter.  The  repeal  of 
Coddington's  charter  was  obtained  through  John  Clarke  and 
Roger  Williams  in  that  same  year,  but  in  consequence  no  attor- 
ney and  solicitor-general  were  elected  in  1651-2. 

The  offices  of  attorney  and  solicitor  continued  till  1741,  when 
the  act  appointing  one  attorney-general  for  the  colony  was  re- 
pealed and  an  act  passed  appointing  attorneys  for  counties,  Dan- 
iel Updike  being  appointed  attorney  for  the  county  of  Kings. 
The  act  of  1741  was  repealed,  however,  and  the  act  appointing 
one  attorney-general  for  the  colony  revived  in  1743.  The  fol- 
lowing is  a  list  of  the  attorneys-general  who  have  been  elected 
from  the  counties  of  Washington  and  Kent:  John  Greene,  Jr., 
of  Warwick,  May  19th,  1657,  to  May  22d,  1660 ;  Edmund  Calver- 
ly,  of  Warwick,  1681  to  1682 ;  John  Smith,  of  Warwick,  1696  to 
1698  ;  John  Rhodes,  of  Warwick,  1700  to  1701  ;   Simon  Smith,  of 


Warwick,  1706  to  1712 ;    Daniel  Updike,  of  North   Kingstown, 
1722  to  1732. 

In  December,  1740,  the  act  providing  for  the  election  of  an  at- 
torney-general was  repealed,  and  a  king's  attorney  directed  to  be 
chosen  for  each  county.  Daniel  Updike,  of  North  Kingstown 
was  appointed  for  King's  county  and  served  from  1741  to  1743. 

In  September,  1742,  the  act  was  repealed,  and  provision  made 
for  the  election  of  one  attorney-general  only.  Daniel  Updike 
served  from  1743  to  1748 ;  Daniel  Updike  served  from  1790  to 
1791,  and  Albert  C.  Greene,  of  East  Greenwich,  from  1825  to  1843. 
Under  the  constitution  adopted  in  1842,  there  were  no  attor- 
neys elected  from  either  county.  Ira  O.  Seamans,  of  Warwick, 
became  assistant  attorney-general  March  19th,  1874,  and  held  the 
office  to  March  19th,  1877. 

In  1745  the  profession  held  their  first  bar  meeting  in  this  col- 
ony. At  that  meeting  the  lawyers  agreed  to  some  rules  "  to  be 
strictly  kept  up  by  us  upon  honor." 

"  I.  No  cause  at  any  inferior  court  where  an  answer  is  filed 
shall  be  undertaken  under  forty  shillings  for  a  fee  or  more. 

"  II.  No  answer  shall  be  filed  under  a  forty  shilling  fee,  besides 
the  payment  of  the  charge  of  copies. 

"  III.  No  case  to  be  pleaded  at  any  superior  court  under  a  three 
pound  fee. 

"  IV.  No  writ  or  review  to  be  brought  under  a  four  pound  fee, 
and  the  same  if  for  the  defendant. 

"V.  In  the  foregoing  cases  no  man  to  be  trusted  without  his 
note,  saving  a  standing  client  for  whom  considerable  business  is 

"  VI.  No  attorney  to  sign  blank  writs  and  disperse  them  about 
the  colony,  which  practice  it  is  conceived  would  make  the  law 
cheap  and  hurt  the  business  without  profiting  any  one  whatever. 
"VII.  No  attorney  shall  take  up  any  suit  against  a  practitioner 
except  three  or  more  brethren  shall  determine  the  demand 
reasonable,  and  then  if  he  will  not  do  justice  the  whole  fraternity 
shall  rise  up  against  him. 

"VIII.  If  any  dispute  should  arise  among  the  brethren  about 
endorsement  of  writs,  for  securing  costs,  it  shall  not  be  deemed 
a  breach  of  unity  if  one  attorney  takes  out  a  writ  against  another 
for  his  costs.  And  in  case  any  attorney  shall  become  bail  he  is 
to  expect  no  favor. 

"  IX.  No  attorney  to  advance  money  to  pay  entry  and  jury  in 


cases  disputed  except  for  a  standing,  responsible  client  that  hap- 
pens to  be  out  of  the  way. 
"  At  September  Term,  1745. 

"  Daniel  Updike, 
"James  HoNEYMAN,  Jr., 
"  John  Alpin, 
"  John  Walton, 
"  Mathew  Robinson, 
"  David  Richards,  Jr., 
"Thomas  Ward, 
"  John  Andrews." 
Daniel  Updike  was  a  son  of  Gilbert  Updike,  who  married  a 
daughter  of  Richard  Smith,  Sen.,  the  first  settler  of  North  Kings- 
town.    Gilbert  Updike  was  a  German  physician  of  considerable 
celebrity.     In  1664,  he  and  his  three  brothers,  Richard,  Daniel 
and  James,  emigrated  to  the  colony  of  Rhode  Island.     Richard 
Updike  was  killed  in  the  great  swamp  fight  of  1675,  and  Daniel 
and  James   dangerously   wounded.      James  afterward   died  of 
apoplexy.     Daniel,  on  a  voyage  to  Europe,  was  captured  by  the 
Algerines  and  ransomed  by  Major  Richard  Smith,  Jr.,  with  fif- 
teen hundred  gun  locks.     The  sons  of  Gilbert  were  Lodowick, 
Daniel  and  James.     Lodowick  married  Catharine,  the  daughter 
of  Thomas  Newton,  and  died  in  1737,  leaving  Daniel  and  five 
daughters.    Daniel,  son  of  Lodowick,  was  educated  in  his  father's 
house  by  an  able  French   instructor  in  the  Greek,   Latin  and 
French  languages,  and  his  sisters  in  the  Latin  and  French.  After 
Daniel  was  educated  he  visited  Barbadoes  in  company  with  a 
friend  of  his  father's,  and  was  admitted  to  the  first  circles  of  so- 
ciety on  the  island.     Upon  his  return  he  applied  himself  to  the 
study  of  the  law,  and  after  his  admission  opened  an  office  in  New- 
port.    In  1722,  Henry  Bull,  Esq.,  having  been  elected  attorney- 
general,  and  declining  the  office,  Mr.  Updike  was  elected  to  fill 
the  vacancy.     He  was  annually  re-elected  until  May,  1732,  when 
he  declined,  having  been  nominated  for  governor  of  the  colony 
in  opposition  to  Governor  William  Wanton.     In  1723  he  was  ap- 
pointed by  the  general  assembly  as  the  state's  counsel  to  attend 
the  trial  of  the  thirty-six  pirates  captured  by  Captain  Solgar,  com- 
mander of  his  majesty's  "  Greyhound."  Twenty-six  of  the  pirates 
were  executed  at  Newport  in  Jitly  of  that  year.     Mr.  Updike  was 
much  engaged  in  the  angry  controversy  between  the  colonies 
respecting  the  boundary  lines  of  Connecticut  and  Rhode  Island, 


and  was  actively  interested  in  matters  pertaining  to  legislation, 
having  been  appointed  by  the  general  assembly  on  various  occa- 
sions on  important  work.  In  1742  he  was  re-elected  for  King's 
county,  and  was  also  elected  one  of  the  committee  to  revise  the 
laws.  In  May,  1743,  he  was  elected  attorney-general,  and  was 
sustained  by  annual  re-elections  by  the  people  until  the  year 
1758.  Mr.  Updike  in  person  was  about  five  feet  ten  inches  in 
height,  with  prominent  features.  As  an  advocate  he  sustained 
a  high  reputation.  He  had  a  clear,  full  musical  voice.  Dr.  Brad- 
ford iised  to  speak  of  him  as  being  a  "  fine  speaker  with  great 
pathos  and  piercing  irony." 

Lodowick  Updike,  son  of  Daniel,  was  born  July  12th,  1725. 
He  was  educated  under  private  tutors  in  conformity  with  the 
practice  of  that  age.  His  last  instructor  was  the  Reverend  John 
Checkley,  rector  of  the  church  at  Providence,  an  Oxford  scholar 
and  a  learned  divine.  Mr.  Updike  studied  law  for  the  bar,  but 
never  practiced.  He  inherited  a  large  estate  and  resided  there 
until  his  death,  June  6th,  1804.  His  wife  was  Abigail  Gardiner, 
daughter  of  William  Gardiner  of  Boston  Neck,  and  niece  of  Doc- 
tor McSparran.  His  children  were  Daniel,  James,  Austin,  Mary, 
Abigail,  Sarah,  Lydia,  Lodowick,  Alfred,  Gilbert  and  Wilkins. 

Wilkins  Updike,  the  noted  lawyer  of  Rhode  Island,  was  the 
youngest  son  of  Lodowick  Updike,  and  was  born  at  North  Kings- 
town, January  8th,  1784.  The  homestead  where  Wilkins  Updike 
was  born  belonged  to  the  family  from  the  first  settlement.  Be- 
sides advantages  mentioned  before  in  the  houses  of  the  Updikes, 
Wilkins  was  sent  at  the  proper  age  to  the  academy  in  Plainfield, 
Connecticut.  The  late  Elisha  R.  Potter  received  his  education 
at  that  place.  After  leaving  the  academy  he  studied  law  in  the 
office  of  Honorable  James  Lanman,  subsequently  senator  in  con- 
gress from  Connecticut,  and  afterward  in  Newport  in  the  office 
of  Honorable  Asher  Robbins  and  in  the  office  of  Elisha  Potter  in 
Little  Rest.  He  was  admitted  to  the  practice  of  the  law  in  1808. 
The  amount  of  litigation  in  Washington  and  Kent  counties  was 
very  great  at  that  time.  Of  this  Mr.  Updike  soon  began  to  obtain 
a  portion,  and  in  the  end  enjoyed  a  harvest  of  the  legal  profes- 
sion. Mr.  Updike  married,  September  23d,  1809,  Abby,  daughter 
of  Walter  Watson,  Esq.,  of  South  Kingstown.  She  died  many 
years  before  him,  leaving  several  children :  Thomas  B.  Updike, 
of  Manchester,  Pa.;  Honorable  Caesar  A.  Updike,  speaker  of  the 
house  of  representatives  of  Rhode  Island  at  one  time ;  Walter 


Updike,  attorney-at-law,  deceased ;  Mrs.  R.  K.  Randolph,  Mrs. 
Samuel  Rodman,  Mrs.  H.  A.  Hidden,  Mrs.  John  F.  Greene,  Mrs. 
John  Eddy  and  Miss  Artis  T.  Updike.  After  marriage  Mr.  Up- 
dike resided^  for  a  while  at  Tower  Hill,  South  Kingstown,  and 
then  came  to  Kingston,  then  called  Little  Rest.  He  was  occupied 
by  his  profession  and  politics  for  many  years,  and  was  for  many 
successive  terms  a  member  of  the  legislature.  While  in  the 
legislature  his  efforts  to  aid  Mr.  Barnard  in  establishing  a  good 
system  of  common  schools  will  be  remembered  by  many  ;  and  he 
also  took  an  active  part  in  supporting  the  measures  for  abolish- 
ing the  old  restrictions  upon  the  rights  of  married  women.  His 
wit  and  peculiar  style  of  eloquence  always  gave  him  a  great  in- 
fluence in  the  general  assembly.  Mr.  Updike  left  some  memorials 
behind  him  which  will  long  be  remembered.  In  1842  he  pub- 
lished in  an  octavo  volume  his  "  Memoirs  of  the  Rhode  Island 
Bar."  Many  of  these  sketches  are  exceedingly  interesting.  He  next 
began  the  collection  of  material  for  the  history  of  the  Episcopal 
•church.  This  work  led  eventually  to  the  publication  of  his 
"History  of  the  Episcopal  Church  in  Narragansett,  R.  I.,"  in  1847. 
It  is  an  octavo  volume  of  533  pages  of  most  valuable  matter.  It 
is  now  out  of  print.  Mr.  Updike  died  at  Kingston  January  14th, 
1867.  The  funeral  was  performed  on  Thursday  following  by 
Reverend  Mr.  Crane  of  East  Greenwich. 

Samuel  Ward,  of  Westerly,  was  born  in  Newport  May  27th,  1725. 
He  was  reared  as  a  farmer,  but  removed  to  Westerly,  where  he 
retained  his  abode  until  his  death.  He  was  a  member  of  the 
house  of  representatives  from  1756  to  1759  ;  was  chief  justice  of 
Rhode  Island  in  1761 ;  was  elected  governor  of  Rhode  Island  in 
1762,  in  1765,  and  again  in  1767.  He  was  one  of  the  founders  of 
Rhode  Island  College,  now  Brown  University.  He  was  a  zealous 
patriot,  and  was  elected  to  the  first  continental  congress  in 
1774_75.      He  died  of   small-pox  in  Philadelphia,  March  27th, 


Colonel  Harry  Babcock,  son  of  Doctor  Joshua  Babcock,  of 
Westerly,  was  born  in  1736.  He  entered  college  at  twelve  years 
■of  age,  and  took  his  degree  at  sixteen  at  the  head  of  his  class. 
At  the  age  of  eighteen  he  obtained  from  the  legislature  of  this 
state  a  charter  for  an  independent  company  of  infantry  and  was 
-appointed  captain.  At  the  age  of  nineteen  he  was  appointed 
captain  of  a  company  in  the  regiment  raised  by  this  colony  and 
marched  to  Albany,  from  thence  to  Lake  George,  and  joined  the 


army  in  the  campaign  of  1756,  to  dislodge  the  French  from  Can- 
ada. Sir  William  Johnson,  commander-in-chief,  detached  four 
hundred  men  under  Colonel  Williams  to  reconnoitre.  Captain 
Babcock,  with  sixty  men,  constituted  a  part  of  the  corps.  They 
were  attacked  by  the  enemy  commanded  by  Baron  Dieskau,  and 
defeated.  Colonel  Williams  and  Captain  Babcock  had  nineteen 
men  killed  and  wounded.  Baron  Dieskau  was  taken  prisoner. 
The  next  year  Captain  Babcock  was  promoted  major ;  at  twenty- 
one  years  of  age  he  was  promoted  lieutenant-colonel ;  at  twenty- 
two  he  commanded  the  Rhode  Island  regiment,  consisting  of 
one  thousand  men  ;  and  in  July,  1758,  he  marched  five  hundred 
of  his  men  with  the  British  army  against  Ticonderoga.  He  had 
one  hundred  and  ten  men  killed  and  wounded  and  was  wounded 
himself  by  a  musket  ball  in  the  knee.  He  also  assisted  in  other 
campaigns,  and  in  all  served  five  years  in  the  Old  French  wars 
with  great  reputation.  About  the  age  of  twenty-five  Colonel 
Babcock  spent  a  year  in  England,  chiefly  in  London,  where  he 
was  treated  with  as  great  respect  by  the  nobility  and  gentry  as 
any  other  American  of  his  time.  Soon  after  his  return  he  mar- 
ried and  settled  in  Stonington,  in  Connecticut,  and  commenced 
the  practice  of  the  law.  When  the  revolution  commenced  he 
was  a  staunch  whig,  and  1^776  he  was  appointed  by  the  legis- 
lature commander  of  the  forces  at  Newport.  While  commander 
at  this  time  he  had  one  opportunity  to  display  his  courage.  On 
the  open  beach,  with  an  eighteen  pounder,  he  drove  off  the 
British  man-of-war  "  Rose  "  by  his  own  firing.  He  had  practiced 
as  an  engineer  at  Woolwich,  when  in  England.  He  was  so 
severely  affected  by  a  spell  of  sickness  in  the  winter  following 
that  he  never  entirely  recovered.  He  was  a  man  of  fine  person, 
accomplished  manners,  commanding  voice  and  an  eloquent 
speaker.  The  family  mansion  stood  on  the  old  country  road  one 
mile  east  of  Pawcatuck  village  in  Westerly. 

James  Mitchell  Varnum  was  born  in  Dracut,  Mass.,  in  1749. 
He  graduated  in  1769,  at  the  age  of  twenty,  from  Rhode  Island 
College,  then  located  in  Warren.  He  was  in  the  first  class  that 
graduated  from  that  institution.  Soon  after  his  college  course  he 
entered  the  office  of  Oliver  Arnold,  in  Providence,  then  attorney 
general  of  the  colony.  He  settled  in  East  Greenwich,  where  his 
talents  acquired  for  him  an  extensive  practice  and  from  his 
travels  through  the  circuits  of  the  state  he  reaped  many  honors 
of  his  profession.     Mr.  Varnum  had  a  great  taste  for  military 


life,  and  early  joined  the  Kentish  Guards,  and  in  1774  was  ap- 
pointed commander  of  that  company,  which  from  superior  ac- 
quirements in  military  tactics  became  the  nursery  of  many  dis- 
tinguished officers  during  the  revolutionary  war.  General 
Greene,  General  Varnum,  Colonel  Greene,  Colonel  Crary,  Colonel 
Whitmarsh,  Major  Dexter,  Captain  Arnold  and  others,  making 
thirty-two  in  all,  entered  the  patriot  army  as  commissioned  offi- 
cers from  this  company.  The  state  raised  two  regiments  for  the 
war  of  the  revolution  for  the  year  1776.  Colonel  Varnum  com- 
manded the  first  and  Hitchcock  the  second.  Varnum  was  short- 
ly afterward  raised  to  the  command  of  a  brigade,  and  the  legis- 
lature of  the  state  in  May,  1779,  in  consideration  of  his  national 
services,  elected  him.  major-general  of  the  militia,  to  which  office 
he  was  unanimously  re-elected  during  the  remainder  of  his  life. 
In  1780  he  was  elected  to  congress.  In  1787  he  was  appointed 
with  Samuel  Parsons  judge  of  the  Northwestern  territory. 

In  the  spring  of  1788,  he  left  his  native  state  and  took  up  his 
abode  in  Marietta,  Ohio,  the  seat  of  government,  but  in  1789  ill- 
health  compelled  him  to  cease  labors,  and  in  the  month  of  March, 
1789,  he  passed  away,  his  death  taking  place  at  Campus  Martius, 
a  stockade  built  by  the  first  settlers  under  Putnam.  The  career 
of  General  Varnum  was  active  and  brief.  He  graduated  at 
twenty,  was  admitted  to  the  bar  at  twenty-two,  resigned  his  com- 
mission at  thirty-two,  was  a  member  of  congress  the  same  year, 
resumed  his  practice  at  thirty-three,  continued  his  practice  four 
years,  was  elected  to  congress  again  at  thirty-seven,  emigrated  to 
the  west  at  thirty-nine,  and  died  at  the  early  age  of  forty. 

From  the  memoirs  of  Elkanah  Watson  we  give  the  following, 
as  descriptive  of  Mr.  Varnum's  eloquence  as  a  speaker :  "  James 
Mitchell  Varnum  was  appointed  a  brigadier-general  in  the  Rhode 
Island  line  at  an  early  period  of  the  revolution.  He  resided  in 
East  Greenwich,  and  was  one  of  the  most  eminent  lawyers,  and 
distinguished  orators  in  the  colonies.  I  first  saw  this  learned 
and  amiable  man  in  1774,  when  I  heard  him  deliver  a  Masonic 
oration.  Until  that  moment  I  had  formed  no  conception  of  the 
power  and  charms  of  oratory.  I  was  so  deeply  impressed,  that 
the  effect  of  his  splendid  exhibition  has  remained  for  forty-eight 
years  indelibly  fixed  on  my  mind.  I  then  compared  his  mind  to 
a  beautiful  paterre,  from  which  he  was  enabled  to  pluck  the  most 
gorgeous  and  fanciful  flowers  in  his  progress,  to  enrich  and  em- 
bellish his  subject. 


"  He  marched  into  Providence,  with  his  company  on  the  even- 
ing of  the  20th  of  April,  on  his  way  to  Lexington.  General  Na- 
thaniel Greene  marched  into  Providence  with  General  Varnum 
on  that  occasion,  although  it  was  as  a  private,  and  while  he  still 
held  his  connection  with  the  Quaker  Society,  Greene  and  Var- 
num were  soon  after  appointed  brigadiers  and  attached  to  the 
army  besieging  Boston.  Varnum  continued  some  years  in  the 
army,  and  saw  some  service ;  he  was  a  good  disciplinarian,  and 
invaluable  in  council.  He  held  an  excellent  pen,  commanding  a 
rich  flow  of  language  and  eloquence,  embellished  by  all  the  or- 
naments and  graces  of  rhetoric. 

"  While  in  command  at  Taunton,  he  addressed  an  admirable 
letter  to  the  commanding  officer  of  the  Hessians,  on  Rhode  Is- 
land, and  sent  it  in  by  a  flag  of  truce.  The  letter  was  a  tran- 
script of  his  views  of  the  great  controversy  with  England,  and 
was  considered  an  able  argument  on  the  subject.  It  was  subse- 
quently published  in  England,  and  reflected  very  much  credit  on 
the  author.  At  the  close  of  his  military  career,  he  resumed  his 
professional  attitude,  and  often  came  into  conflict  with  Henry 
Goodwin,  his  great  rival  in  eloquence,  but  of  a  totally  distinct 
school.  While  Varnum's  oratory  was  mild  and  conciliatory,  and 
flowing  in  majestic  and  persuasive  eloquence,  Goodwin's  was 
wrapt  in  fire  and  energy,  mingled  with  the  most  burning 

"  In  the  year  1785,  General  Varnum  formed  the  project  of  es- 
tablishing a  colony  on  the  north  branch  of  the  Ohio  river,  and 
erecting  a  city  at  the  mouth  of  the  Muskingum.  He  urged  me 
to  unite  with  him  in  the  adventure.  He  carried  out  his  design 
and  founded  Marietta,  which  he  named  in  honor  of  the  queen  of 

Judge  Stephen  Arnold,  of  Warwick,  was  a  descendant  of  the 
Pawtuxet  Arnolds  and  born  September  3d,  1732.  He  was  the 
son  of  Philip,  the  son  of  Stephen,  grandson  of  Stephen,  and 
great-grandson  of  William,  the  first  of  the  family  in  this  state. 
Judge  Arnold  was  married  several  times.  One  of  his  daughters, 
Elizabeth,  married  Christopher  A.  Whitman,  of  Coventry,  who 
was  for  some  years  president  of  the  Coventry  Bank.  He  fell 
dead  in  the  road  in  Centreville,  May  19th,  1816,  in  the  84th  year 
of  his  age.  His  son  Benedict  dropped  dead  from  his  horse  while 
riding  to  Apponaug,  and  his  eldest  son  dropped  from  his  chair 
and  expired  just  after   he   had   eaten  a  hearty  dinner.     Judge 


Stephen  Arnold  was  the  person  who  was  charged  by  the  people 
of  East  Greenwich  with  propagating  principles  unfriendly  to 
American  liberty,  though  it  hardly  appears  he  was  guilty.  He 
was  at  that  time  judge  of  the  common  pleas  court,  and  denounced 
some  of  the  leaders  with  much  asperity.  An  account  of  this  con- 
troversy is  given  in  Chapter  V.  Judge  Arnold  was  a  tall,  slim 
man,  active  in  his  habits,  social  and  somewhat  eccentric. 

Richard  Ward  Greene,  of  Warwick,  chief  justice,  was  one  of 
the  honored  names  of  the  state.  He  was  the  son  of  Christopher 
and  Deborah  (Ward)  Greene,  and  was  born  early  in  1792,  and 
died  in  the  eighty-fourth  year  of  his  age.  His  mother  was  a 
daughter  of  Governor  Samuel  Ward.  He  was  educated  at  Brown 
University,  and  at  the  time  of  his  death  was  one  of  its  trustees. 
He  studied  law  at  Litchfield  Law  School,  an  institution  which 
graduated  many  eminent  lawyers  of  the  American  bar.  Judge 
Greene  was  stately  and  dignified,  straight  as  an  arrow,  and  was 
over  six  feet  in  height. 

Rouse  J.  Helme. — The  family  of  Helme  were  among  the  first 
settlers  of  Narragansett.  Mr.  James  Helme  of  South  Kingstown 
and  Esther  Powell  of  North  Kingstown  were  married  October 
19th,  1738.  They  took  up  their  residence  at  Tower  Hill,  and  for 
many  years  Mr.  Helme  kept  a  large  retail  store  there.  In  1767 
he  was  elected  by  the  legislature  chief  justice  of  the  supreme 
court  of  the  state,  and  was  re-elected  as  chief  or  associate  justice 
until  1775.  He  died  in  1777,  and  was  interred  in  the  burial 
ground  on  Tower  Hill.  His  wife  was  the  granddaughter  of 
Gabriel  Bernon,  the  Protestant  Huguenot,  and  daiighter  of  Adam 
Powell  and  Hester  Powell,  who  before  marriage  was  Hester  Ber- 
non. Rouse  J.  Helme,  his  son,  was  born  at  Tower  Hill  in  1744. 
He  received  a  competent  education,  and  became  proficient  in 
the  learned  languages.  He  early  displayed  a  predilection  for  the 
study  of  the  law,  and  became  a  distinguished  citizen  of  the  state. 
He  took  a  course  of  study  under  Mathew  Robinson,  a  learned 
lawyer,  and  subsequently  opened  an  office  at  the  village  of  Kings- 
ton, in  his  native  town,  where  he  soon  obtained  a  large  share  of 
practice.  He  early  embarked  in  politics,  and  was  elected  to  many 
ofiices  of  honor  and  responsibility.  He  was  a  member  of  the 
council  of  war  during  the  revolution,  deputy  secretary  and  a  mem- 
ber of  the  general  assembly  for  many  years.  In  the  legislature 
Mr.  Helme  boldly  opposed  the  paper  money  system  of  1786,  and 
on  the  ascendency  of  that  party,  in  the  succeeding  year,  he  was 


superseded  as  a  representative,  but  he  manifested  great  ability 
as  a  lawyer  and  as  a  statesman,  and  was  subsequently  re-elected. 
In  1788  he  was  returned  a  member  of  the  legislature  from  New 
Shoreham  under  a  law  passed  during  the  revolution  authorizing 
that  town,  being  an  island,  to  choose  its  representatives  among 
other  towns,  and  he  continued  to  represent  that  town  for  many 
years.  He  died  in  the  meridian  of  his  life,  October  13th,  1789, 
aged  46. 

Archibald  Campbell  commenced  the  practice  of  law  in  Kent 
county,  settling  in  East  Greenwich  about  the  year  1750.  But  little 
is  known  of  Mr.  Campbell  prior  to  this  time.  He  continued  his 
profession  in  East  Greenwich  until  his  death,  in  1769.  On  his 
monument  in  the  Baptist  cemetery  of  his  village  is  the  following 

inscription : 

"  In  Memory  of 
Son  of  Archibald,  and  Grandson  of  the 
Rev.  Daniel  Campbell,  and  nephew  of  the  Rev.  John  Campbell, 
Late  President  of  the 
College  of  Glasgow, 
who  departed  this  life  October  16th,  1769, 
in  the 
41st  year  of  His  Age. 
Viator  ecce  patria  oolumen 
Juris  pressium  benignum  genitorum 
Et  indulgentissimus  maritum." 
[Englished  thus : 
Traveler,  behold  the  patriot,  the  lawyer. 
The  kind  father,  and  the  most  indulgent  husband.] 

Mr.  Campbell  had  a  large  practice  and  he  was  a  popular  lawyer, 
greatly  esteemed  by  the  public.  He  was  elected  to  the  general 
assembly  from  East  Greenwich  in  1768,  and  was  a  valuable  mem- 
ber of  the  legislature  on  various  important  committees,  and  was 
re-elected  just  prior  to  his  death.  He  left  one  son,  Jacob  Camp- 
bell, and  three  daughters. 

Jacob  Campbell,  son  of  Archibald  Campbell,Esq.,wasborn  in  East 
Greenwich  in  1760,  and  graduated  from  Rhode  Island  College  (now 
Brown  University)  in  September,  1783.  After  graduation  h6  be- 
came a  preceptor  in  a  classical  school  in  East  Greenwich  for  a  short 
period,  and  then  entered  the  office  of  General  Varnum  as  a  stu- 
dent of  law.  ]\Ir.  Campbell  devoted  many  of  his  leisure  hours  to 
classic  literature  and  poetry.  His  temperament  was  nervous,  and 
he  was  very  unfortunate,  for  he  became  often  dejected,  and  with 
a  mind  so  sensitive  he  was  borne  down  with  fancied  injuries  and 


neglect.  He  did  not  enjoy  a  rich  field  for  practice  in  the  legal 
profession  and  frequently  indulged  in  his  innate  taste  for  the 
muses.  He  published  a  small  volume  entitled  "  Poetical  Essays," 
and  some  of  these  selections  found  their  wa-j  into  the  well-known 
school  book  "The  Speaker."  He  was  also  the  author  of  a  num- 
ber of  essays  in  prose.  Doctor  Greene,  speaking  of  Mr.  Campbell 
in  his  valuable  history  of  East  Greenwich,  says  : 

"  When  relieved  from  the  influence  of  his  accustomed  melan- 
choly, Campbell  enraptured  every  circle  with  the  sprightliness  of 
his  fancy  and  the  fascination  of  his  genius.  His  conversation 
was  rich,  his  language  vivid,  his  style  lofty,  accompanied  by  a 
captivating  sweetness  that  went  directly  to  the  heart ;  but  when 
mentally  depressed,  he  was  silent  and  retiring,  or  disposed  to 
pour  into  the  bosom  of  some  intimate  friend  the  murmurings  of 
his  fancied  griefs. 

"  During  his  residence  he  became  attached  to  Miss  Eliza  Rus- 
sell, daughter  of  Joseph  Russell.  Their  love,  growing  out  of  a 
long  friendship,  was  mutual.  He  was  of  a  feeble  constitution, 
and  was  inclined  to  consumption.  During  his  lingering  illness 
she  was  constantly  with  him,  and  with  her  own  hand  ministered 
to  the  object  of  her  plighted  love,  and  her  delicate  attentions 
and  watchfulness  were  unceasing.  His  sickness  was  dubious 
and  flattering  for  a  long  period,  and  she  continued  her  affection- 
ate efforts  for  his  restoration  with  unremitted  devotion,  some- 
times hoping  for  the  joys  of  a  speedy  recovery,  at  others  despair- 
ing of  a  hopeful  termination.  If  she  could  not  arrest  disease, 
she  could  relieve  its  pains,  and  with  a  holy  affection  smooth  the 
pillow  of  death,  pluck  out  its  thorns,  and  deal  out  the  consola- 
tions of  the  gospel.  After  his  death  and  funeral  she  retired  to 
her  room,  and  darkening  it  to  her  feelings,  admitted  only  a  few 
select  friends,  and  particularly  those  who  could  discourse  of  kirn, 
and  like  /ler  of  o/d,  refusing  to  be  comforted,  she  remained  there 
until  her  death.  A  lady  of  East  Greenwich,  who  had  been  inti- 
mate with  them  both,  called  to  see  her,  and  was  admitted  to  her 
chamber  with  scarcely  light  enough  to  distinguish  an  object. 
Her  whole  conversation  was  of  the  sickness,  suffering  and  death 
of  Jacob  Campbell.  She  was  waiting,  with  patient  resignation, 
the  arrival  of  the  wished  for  hour,  when  she  should  join  him  in 
heaven.  She  caused  a  very  handsome  tombstone,  as  the  last 
tribute  of  affection,  to  be  erected  at  his  grave  in  the  old  Baptist 


cemetery  in  East  Greenwich,  next  to  his  father's,  with  this  in- 
scription : 

In  Memory  of 


Son  of  Archibald  Campbell, 


Who  departed  this  life  March  5th,  1788,  in  the 

38th  year  of  his  age. 
"  '  Oh  faithful  memory  may  thy  lamp  illume, 

The  sacred  sepuohre  with  radiance  clear. 
Soft  plighted  love  shall  rest  upon  his  tomb. 
And  friendship  o'er  it  shed  the  fragrant  tear.' 
"  The  suicidical  course  adopted  by  this  devoted  woman  upon 
this  eventful  occasion  should  not  be  allowed  to  pass  without  re- 
proof. The  dispensations  of  Heaven,  however  severe,  are  to  be 
met  and  borne  with  Christian  resignation.  The  infliction  of  self- 
injury  or  immolation,  proceeds  upon  a  principle  of  retaliation  or 
revenge  utterly  at  variance  with  every  feature  of  the  Christian 
character,  and  must  impress  the  conviction  that  its  doctrines 
have  been  defectively  inculcated  or  grossly  misunderstood.  That 
she  should  have  bitterly  wept  to  be  bereaved  of  the  object  of  her 
tenderest  affections  ;  that  her  wounded  heart  should  have  heaved 
with  the  deepest  emotions  upon  their  earthly  separation,  is  what 
all  would  expect,  and  in  which  all  would  sympathize.  But  to  in- 
carcerate her  person,  and  prematurely  terminate  her  existence, 
because  the  Deity,  in  his  visitations,  had  disappointed  her  hopes, 
all  must  equally  condemn." 

Joseph  L.  Tillinghast,  of  East  Greenwich,  was  at  one  time 
principal  of  Kent  Academy.  He  was  born  in  Taunton,  Mass.,  in 
1791,  and  early  in  life  moved  to  Rhode  Island.  He  was  gradu- 
ated at  Brown  University  in  1809,  and  after  his  career  as  teacher 
and  principal,  he  studied  law  and  devoted  himself  to  its  practice 
in  Providence  with  marked  success  for  thirty  years.  In  1833  he 
was  elected  a  member  of  the  board  of  trustees  of  Brown  Univer- 
sity, and  from  1837  to  1843  he  was  a  member  of  congress.  He 
was  for  many  years  a  member  of  the  state  legislature,  and  was 
elected  speaker  on  several  occasions.  To  him  was  awarded  the 
authorship  of  the  free  schools,  and  the  improved  judiciary  sys- 
tem of  the  state.     He  died  in  Providence  December  30th,  1844. 

Nathan  F.  Dixon  was  a  gradjiate  of  Brown  University  in  1799, 
became  a  lawyer,  established  himself  in  practice  in  Westerly  in 
1802,  was  elected  a  senator  in  congress  in  1839,  and  died  in 
Washington  in  1842. 


Nathan  F.  Dixon^  son  of  the  above,  was  born  in  Westerly 
in  1812,  graduated  from  Brown  University  in  1833,  studied  law 
in  his  father's  office  in  Westerly,  and  after  an  extended  course  of 
study  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  New  London  in  1837,  and  from 
that  time  until  his  death  practiced  law  in  Rhode  Island.  He 
died  in  April,  1881.  From  1840  to  1877  Mr.  Dixon  served  his 
native  town  in  the  general  assembly  of  Rhode  Island  or  his  con- 
gressional district  in  the  United  States  House  of  Representatives, 
of  which  he  was  a  member  ten  years,  from  1849  to  1851  and  from 
1863  to  1871.  He  was  a  presidential  elector  in  1844  and  also  in 
1876.  He  was  attorney  for  the  New  York,  Providence  and  Ston- 
ington  Railroad  Company,  and  president  of  the  Washington  Na- 
tional Bank  of  Westerly  for  many  years. 

Nathan  F.  Dixon',  of  Westerly,  son  of  Nathan  F.  Dixon", 
was  born  August  28th,  1847.  He  was  graduated  from  Brown 
University  in  the  class  of  1869,  and  was  educated  for  his  profes- 
sional work  by  a  course  of  preparatory  study  under  his  father 
and  afterward  in  the  Albany  Law  School,  where  he  was  gradu- 
ated in  the  class  of  1871.  He  has  since  practiced  law.  He  was 
United  States  district  attorney  from  1877  to  1885,  and  represen- 
tative from  the  second  district  in  the  Forty-eighth  congress  from 
February  5th  to  March,  1885. 

Edward  H.  Dixon,  a  brother  of  Nathan  F.  Dixon',  was  ad- 
mitted to  the  bar  in  Westerly  in  1877,  but  after  about  a  year  of 
practice  in  that  profession  moved  to  New  York,  where  he  is  now 

John  Hancock  Cross  was  the  son  of  Judge  Amos  Cross  and  his 
wife  Elizabeth  Barns  Cross,  who  had  also  a  daughter,  Eliza  E., 
wife  of  Doctor  John  E.  Weeden,  all  residents  of  Westerly,  R.  I. 
His  grandparents  were  John  Cross  and  Susan  Sheffield,  of  South 
Kingstown  in  the  same  state.  John  Hancock  Cross  was  born 
January  17th,  1811,  in  Westerly,  and  after  attending  the  schools 
of  his  native  town  concluded  his  course  of  study  at  the  Plainfield 
academy.  Much  of  his  early  life  was  spent  as  a  man  of  leisure 
in  the  gratification  of  refined  and  cultivated  tastes.  About  1832 
he  purchased  the  Rockville  mills  in  the  town  of  Hopkinton, 
Washington  county,  and  under  the  firm  name  of  Burlingame  & 
Cross  began  the  manufacture  of  cotton  goods.  Deciding  some 
years  later  to  abandon  commercial  life  for  a  professional  career, 
he  began  the  study  of  law  with  Nathan  F.  Dixon,  Sr.,  and  was 
admitted  to  both  the  Rhode  Island  and  New  York  bars.     His 


early  success  as  a  lawyer  in  Westerly  speedily  opened  a  field  in 
New  York  city,  where  he  began  practice  in  1857,  but  returned 
again  to  his  native  town  in  1867,  and  there  continued  his  profes- 
sional labors  until  his  death,  on  the  10th  of  November,  1874.  Mr. 
Cross  soon  succeeded  in  obtaining  a  remunerative  practice,  and 
ere  many  years  had  elapsed  attained  marked  distinction  at  the 
bar.  His  power  of  concentration  of  mind  was  exceptional.  This, 
united  with  a  certain  legal  acumen  and  ready  conception  of  charac- 
ter and  motive,  made  him  a  formidable  antagonist,  and  brought 
him  many  brilliant  successes.  He  was  employed  on  various  oc- 
casions in  important  railroad  suits,  and  was  especially  active  and 
skillful  in  the  prosecution  of  the  bank  robbers  on  the  occasion  of 
the  robbery  of  the  Westerly  Bank  in  1849. 

Mr.  Cross  participated  actively  in  the  political  events  of  his 
day,  was  first  a  democrat  and  later  assumed  a  neutral  attitude 
with  reference  to  party  measures.  He  was  elected  to  the  state 
legislature  in  1834  and  was  subsequently  nominated  for  the 
office  of  lieutenant-governor.  He  was  energetic  in  the  advance- 
ment of  local  affairs,  and  did  much  to  promote  the  growth  and 
prosperity  of  his  native  town.  Mr.  Cross  was  married  November 
21st,  1829,  to  Mary  Ann,  daughter  of  Elisha  Watson,  of  South 
Kingstown.  Their  children  are  three  sons :  Amos  (deceased), 
Amos  and  Elisha  W.  The  death  of  Mrs.  Cross  occurred  August  3d, 
1883,  in  her  seventy-fourth  year.  Elisha  W.  served  with  distinction 
during  the  war  of  the  rebellion.  He  entered  the  service  in 
April,  1861,  as  a  member  of  Company  I,  Rhode  Island  Detached 
Militia,  assigned  to  the  defense  of  Washington,  and  participated 
on  the  21st  of  July  in  the  first  battle  of  Bull  Run.  When  but 
sixteen  years  of  age,  he  was  detailed  as'  a  sharpshooter.  He  re- 
enlisted  in  Battery  C,  Rhode  Island  Light  Artillery,  under  Cap- 
tain Weeden,  and  served  through  the  McClellan  campaign  on  the 
Peninsula,  participating  in  all  the  engagements,  the  last  being 
that  of  Malvern  Hill.  He  was,  on  account  of  illness  at  Harrison's 
Landing,  sent  to  the  Philadelphia  Hospital,  where  his  discharge 
was  received  from  President  Lincoln.  During  this  period  of  ser- 
vice he  was  promoted  to  corporal  and  afterward  to  the  position 
of  sergeant  of  the  company.  Mr.  Cross  was  on  the  4th  of  August, 
1863,  made  second  lieutenant  of  the  Fifth  regiment  Rhode  Island 
Heavy  Artillery,  receiving  his  commission  from  Governor  James 
Y.  Smith.  He  was  on  the  17th  of  October  of  the  same  year  com- 
missioned first  lieutenant  of  the  Third  Rhode  Island  Cavalry, 



and  assigned  to  duty  on  the  staff  of  Colonel  Gooding,  command- 
ing the  Fifth  Brigade  of  Cavalry,  Department  of  the  Gulf.  He 
continued  in  the  service  until  August,  1865,  the  date  of  his  resig- 

Honorable  Elisha  Reynolds  Potter,*  son  of  Thomas  Potter,  Jr., 
and  Elizabeth  (Reynolds)  Potter,  was  born  in  South  Kingstown, 
November  5th,  1764.  He  was  by  trade  a  blacksmith,  his  early 
advantages  for  an  education  having  been  extremely  limited.  In 
1790  he  married  Mrs.  Mary  Perkins,  a  woman  of  noble  presence, 
fine  character  and  of  great  amiability  and  suavity  of  manner. 
The  influence  of  her  character  possibly  had  much  to  do  with  the 
development  of  Mr.  Potter's.  She  had  considerable  wealth,  in- 
herited from  her  first  husband,  Jonas  Perkins,  a  clock  and  watch 
maker  in  Kingston.  From  him  Mr.  Potter  inherited  the  land  on 
which  he  built,  in  1813,  the  homestead  now  standing  in  Kingston, 
and  where  all  but  the  eldest  of  his  children  were  born.  After 
his  marriage,  I  think,  but  certainly  after  his  acquaintance  with 
Mrs.  Perkins,  he  studied  law  and  was  admitted  to  the  bar.  Al- 
though not  considered  a  great  lawyer,  he  was  a  man  of  great 
power  and  force  of  character.  The  Reverend  William  E.  Chan- 
ning  of  Boston,  son  of  William  Channing,  one  of  the  early  attor- 
neys-general of  Rhode  Island,  once  said,  in  speaking  of  Elisha 
Potter :  "  My  father  was  amongst  the  first  to  discern  the  abilities 
of  that  remarkable  man,  and  I  remember  the  kindness  with 
which  he  used  to  receive  him."  William  Channing  died  at  New- 
port in  1793. 

The  first  office  Mr.  Potter  held  in  the  town  was  possibly  that  of 
justice  of  the  peace  in  1790,  and  for  this  reason  he  was  some- 
times called  by  his  townspeople  *"  Judge,"  but  the  offense  was 
rarely  repeated,  he  being  not  at  all  proud  of  this  cognomen.  From 
1821  until  his  death,  in  1835,  he  was  president  of  the  Landholders' 
Bank  on  Kingston  Hill.  He  was  frequently  sent  to  represent 
his  town  in  the  general  assembly.  "  His  name  there  as  well  as 
in  the  southern  county  was  a  synonym  of  power  for  a  third  of  a 
century."  He  was  speaker  of  the  house  from  1797  to  1809.  "  In 
1770,  and  for  several  years  preceding,  complaints  had  existed 
against  the  gross  inequality  and  injustice  of  the  general  estimate 
of  taxation,  and  its  disproportionate  operation  upon  the  respective 
towns.  South  Kingstown  vainly  protested  against  its  oppression. 
In  a  state  tax  of  twelve  thousand  pounds,  vSouth  Kingstown  was 

*  By  Mrs.  B.  F.  Robinson. 


assessed  one  thousand,  Providence  seven  hundred  and  sixty-six, 
and  others  in  similar  ratio.  This  injustice  was  so  apparent,  and 
the  complaints  so  loud,  that  the  legislature  appointed  a  committee 
to  inquire  into  their  grievances,  but  no  relief  was  granted  or 
remedy  proposed.  The  representatives  from  the  towns  which 
had  increased  in  corporate  wealth  since  the  previous  estimate, 
governed  by  their  interest  of  their  constituents,  uniting  with  those 
who  did  not  anticipate  any  benefit  from  the  change,  continued 
to  refuse  redress.  This  inequality  and  manifest  oppression  con- 
tinued to  exist  until  the  appearance  in  the  legislature  of  the 
Honorable  Elisha  R.  Potter  in  the  year  1793.  Through  his  talents 
and  influence  the  estimate  of  1795  was  effected.  This  herculean 
triumph,  against  the  efforts  of  the  Providence  delegation,  secured 
to  Mr.  Potter  the  zealous  support  of  the  minority  towns,  and 
South  Kingstown  in  particular,  through  life.""''^  Thereafter  he 
held  the  elections  in  these  towns  in  his  own  hand  and  pocket,  he 
being  possibly  the  first  man  in  the  town  who  expended  money 
in  elections. 

As  a  lawmaker  and  leader,  Mr.  Potter  was  a  great  man.  Daniel 
Webster  once  speaking  of  vSouth  Kingstown,  being  asked  what  he 
knew  about  this  town,  answered :  "  I  know  that  Elisha  Potter  lives 
there ;  everybody  knows  him."  Air.  Potter  received  the  nomina- 
tion for  senator  to  congress  in  1833  and  again  in  1835,  but  his 
election  was  defeated  by  a  small  majority.  In  1833  his  seat  was 
contested  and  Asher  Robbins  declared  entitled  thereto.  In  1796 
he  was  elected  as  representative  to  Congress  but  resigned  in 
1797 ;  he  was  again  elected  in  1809,  and  held  the  position  until 
1815.     His  politics  were  what  was  then  called  federal. 

Mr.  Potter  was  prepossessing  in  personal  appearance,  of  fine 
presence,  being  over  six  feet  in  height,  and  carrying  his  two  hun- 
dred and  fifty  pounds  with  dignity  if  not  grace.  Even  in  ad- 
vanced years  young  ladies  would  gladly  leave  the  company  of 
young  men  if  they  could  secure  his  notice.  He  was  steadfast  in 
his  friendships,  but  dominant  and  overbearing.  The  sun  that 
shone  upon  his  friends  to-day  would  hide  its  rays  on  the  morrow 
to  shine  again  when  the  clouds  had  dispersed.  He  liked  for  all 
to  feel  his  power,  and  know  that  they  lived  upon  his  sufferance 

His  second  wife,  Mary  Mawney,  was  niece  to  his  first  wife.  She 
was  the  mother  of  all  his  children,  who  were  :  Elisha  Reynolds, 

*  Colonel  Wilkins  Updike's  Memoirs  of  Rhode  Island  Bar. 


born  June  20th,  1811,  a  prominent  lawyer  and  associate  judge  of 
the  supreme  court  of  Rhode  Island  from  1868  until  1882,  when  he 
died;  Thomas, born  May  4th,  1813, died  young;  Thomas  Mawney, 
born  August  12th,  1814,  surgeon  in  the  navy,  now  retired ;  Wil- 
liam Henry,  born  November  2d,  1816,  a  prominent  lawyer  who 
practiced  many  years  in  Providence,  R.  I.,  married  late  in  life, 
and  has  no  children ;  James  B.  Mason,  born  October  1st,  1818, 
paymaster  in  the  army,  now  retired,  married  Eliza,  daughter  of 
Asa  Potter  (Her  mother  was  daughter  of  Governor  Benjamin 
Thurston  of  Hopkinton.  They  have  two  children,  a  son  James 
and  a  daughter  Mary) ;  Mary  Elizabeth,  born  August  11th,  1821, 

Elisha  Reynolds  Potter,  a  distinguished  member  of  the 
Rhode  Island  Historical  Society,  was  born  in  South  Kings- 
town, R.  I.,  June  20th,  1811,  and  died  there  April  10th,  1882. 
He  prepared  for  college  in  his  native  village,  and  was  gradu- 
ated at  Harvard  University  in  1830.  He  was  admitted  to  the 
bar  of  this  state  October  9th,  1832.  The  taste  for  historical  re- 
search was  developed  in  his  early  life,  and  in  him  we  have  the 
remarkable  instance  of  a  young  man,  hardly  twenty-four  years 
old,  gathering  the  scattering  and  perishing  memorials  of  the 
settlement  of  the  ancient  King's  Province,  which  in  1835,  under 
the  title  of  the  "  Early  History  of  Narragansett,"  he  gave  to  this 
society  for  its  third  volume  of  collections.  The  period  covered 
by  this  book  is  from  the  earliest  notices  of  these  lands  by  the 
first  settlers  in  New  England  to  about  the  year  1730,  just  a  cen- 
tury. This  was  the  pioneer  work  oh  this  subject  and  continues 
to  be  the  chief  authority,  and  is  conceded  by  all  to  be  a  marvel- 
lously excellent  production.  This  was  Mr.  Potter's  second  work. 
The  first  work  was  a  report  of  the  committee  on  religious  cor- 
porations of  the  general  assembly  made  to  that  body  in  January, 
1834.  Mr.  Potter  was  not  a  member  of  the  legislature  at  that 
time,  but  was  employed  by  the  committee  to  write  the  report. 
He  was  then  less  than  twenty-three  years  of  age. 

In  1837  Mr.  Potter  issued  his  third  work,  a  brief  account  of  the 
emissions  of  paper  money  made  by  the  colony  of  Rhode  Island — 
a  pamphlet  of  fifty  pages.  Like  its  predecessor  it  was  a  work  of 
original  research,  covering  a  period  from  1710  to  1786.  It  was 
printed  by  Mr.  Henry  Phillips,  Jr.,  in  his  "  Historical  Sketches 
of  the  Paper  Currency  of  the  American  Colonies,"  without  note 
or  comment,  about  the  year  1863,  and  it  has  since  been  rewritten 


and  republished  in  the  "  Rhode  Island'  Historical  Tracts,"  with 
an  index  and  many  fac  similes.  The  price  of  this  "  Tract  "  nearly 
doubled  in  less  than  two  years  after  its  publication.  His  fourth 
book,  the  "  Considerations  on  the  Questions  of  the  Adoption  of  a 
Constitution  and  Extension  of  Suffrage  in  Rhode  Island,"  was 
printed  in  Boston  in  1842.  The  edition  was  soon  exhausted,  and 
the  continuous  demand  upon  its  author  for  copies  from  all  parts 
of  the  country  induced  him,  in  1879,  to  reprint  it  without  change. 
The  greater  part  of  Judge  Potter's  life  was  devoted  to  public  ser- 
vice, at  different  times  in  the  general  assembly  of  the  state,  dur- 
ing one  session  in  congress,  for  five  years  as  commissioner  of 
public  schools,  and  for  the  last  fourteen  of  his  life  on  the  bench 
of  the  supreme  court.  July  19th,  1832,  he  was  admitted  a  resident 
member  of  the  Rhode  Island  Historical  Society,  and  from  1850  to 
1855  held  the  office  of  vice-president. 

While  commissioner  of  public  schools  Mr.  Potter  became  deep- 
ly interested  in  the  subject  of  popular  education,  and  for  the 
succeeding  ten  years  gave  his  time  to  the  gathering  and  dissem- 
ination of  ideas  relating  to  the  subject.  He  prepared  for  popu- 
lar use  "  Remarks  on  the  Provisions  of  the  School  Laws,  and  on 
the  duties  of  the  different  officers  and  bodies  under  them."  The 
following  are  some  of  the  subjects  :  "  The  Objects  of  Education," 
"  The  Studies,"  "  The  Means  of  Improving  the  Public  Schools," 
"  Lyceum  Lectures,"  "  Grades  and  Qualification  of  Teachers," 
"  The  Arrangement  of  Districts,"  "  The  Education  of  Children  in 
Factories,"  "  Moral  Education,"  "  The  Relation  of  Education  to 
the  Prevention  of  Crime,"  "  The  Establishment  of  a  Normal 
School  for  the  Education  of  Teachers,"  "The  Proper  Place  of 
Colleges  in  the  Educational  System,"  "  Objections  to  Education 
Considered,"  "  The  Fundamental  Principles  of  a  Public  Educa- 
tional System,"  "  Of  Prayer  and  Religious  Exercise  in  Public 
Schools  and  the  Connection  of  these  Schools  with  Religion," 
"  The  Use  of  the  Bible  in  the  Public  Schools,"  and  many  kindred 

In  January,  1852,  Mr.  Potter  began  the  publication  of  a  month- 
ly educational  magazine,  which  he  continued  until  1855,  when  it 
expired.  The  leaves  of  this  little  magazine  were  enriched  with 
some  of  the  choicest  bits  of  English  literature  which  the  language 

Mr.  Sidney  S.  Rider,  when  speaking  of  Judge  Potter  before 
the  Rhode  Island  Historical  Society,  says  in  his  concluding  re- 


marks  :  "Great  as  was  the  labor  and  research  required  in  these 
various  works  they  are  as  nothing  when  compared  to  the  work 
done  by  Mr.  Potter  in  the  books  in  his  library  at  Little  Rest. 
*  *  *  *  Possessed  of  the  knowledge  of  surveying,  scarcely  a 
farm  in  the  Narragansett  country  is  there  which  he  had  not 
measured  and  its  metes  and  bounds  examined.  He  knew  the 
history  of  every  land  title  from  the  advent  of  Richard  Smith  to 
the  day  when  he  died ;  possessed  of  a  knowledge  of  botany,  not 
a  flower  was  born,  and  grew,  and  died,  that  he  had  not  learned 
its  pedigree.  Possessed  of  a  knowledge  of  forestry,  not  a  tree 
nor  a  shrub  grew  in  the  south  counties  of  which  he  knew  not  its 
story.  Virgil  was  his  favorite  Latin  author,  but  his  library  is 
filled  with  the  classics  in  many  editions  both  ancient  and 
modern.  He  could  read  Dante  and  Tasso  in  their  mother 
tongue,  and  with  French  he  was  as  familiar  as  with  English. 

"  He  was  a  friend  of  the  poor.  He  was  among  the  earliest  and 
strongest  friends  of  education  free  to  all  people.  He  was  the 
careful  and  laborious  student  of  the  state  for  the  good  of  the 
state.  He  was  the  staunch  supporter  of  the  state  and  of  the  gen- 
eral government  in  their  times  of  extremest  peril.  He  was  the 
first  among  us  to  establish  at  his  private  cost  free  public  librar- 
ies, a  project  which  the  state  now  fosters  and  men  emulate.  If 
these  things  are  virtues  then  indeed  was  my  friend  virtuous." 

Judge  Dutee  Arnold,  of  Warwick,  was  well  known  throughout 
the  state  of  Rhode  Island  in  the  earlier  years  of  the  present  cen- 
tury. He  was  brother  to  Philip,  the  father  of  Gorton  Arnold, 
who  kept  the  famous  Arnold  Tavern  or  Gorton  Arnold  Stand. 
In  1810  he  and  Henry  Arnold  erected  a  saw  and  grist  mill  at 
Pontiac,  where  he  was  identified  with  manufacturing  interests 
for  years.  In  1817  he  was  elected  an  associate  judge  of  the  su- 
preme court.  He  took  his  seat  on  the  bench  in  May,  1818,  and 
continued  in  office  until  1822.  He  had  three  children :  Horatio, 
Walter  and  Marcy.  His  granddaughter  married  George  T. 
Spicer,  of  Providence. 

Sylvester  Gardiner  Shearman  was  born  in  Exeter  October 
26th,  1802.  A  few  months  after  his  birth,  his  parents  moved  to 
Wickford  in  the  town  of  North  Kingstown.  At  twenty  years  of 
age  he  entered  the  ofiice  of  Wilkins  Updike,  at  South  Kings- 
town. After  admission  to  the  bar  he  commenced  practice  in 
Wickford.  In  1843  he  was  elected  representative  to  the  legisla- 
ture.    The  Providence  Journal  oi  that  period,  in  publishing  notes 


of  his  election,  said :  "  We  think  our  friends  in  North  Kings- 
town must  have  almost  heard  the  shout  when  the  news  of  the 
victory  in  that  town  reached  us."  Mr.  Shearman  continued  to 
represent  his  town  in  succeeding  legislatures  and  in  1848  was 
chosen  speaker  of  the  house  of  representatives.  In  1848  he  was 
the  whig  nominee  to  congress.  It  was  a  triangular  contest,  and 
he  failed  to  get  a  majority ;  he,  however,  obtained  a  handsome 
plurality.  At  a  second  trial,  a  plurality  elected,  when  Nathan  F. 
Dixon  succeeded,  Mr.  Shearman  having  voluntarily  withdrawn. 
In  1855  Mr.  Shearman  was  elected  by  the  legislature  an  associate 
justice  of  the  supreme  court  of  the  state,  which  position  he  held 
until  his  death.  He  died  in  Providence,  R.  I.,  January  3d,  1868. 
It  was  the  unanimous  testimony  of  those  who  knew  him  that  as 
a  man  he  was  faithful,  conscientious,  and  capable  of  making  a 
strong  effort.  His  career  as  judge  was  a  credit  to  himself  and  to 
the  state.  At  the  time  of  his  death,  the  members  of  the  bar  of 
Rhode  Island  testified  in  the  most  emphatic  manner  to  his  abili- 
ty, his  industry  and  his  faithfulness,  and  that  he  left  behind  him 
only  the  most  pleasant  recollections.  Judge  Shearman  left  two 
sons — Sumner  Updike  Shearman  and  William  D.  Shearman,  both 
ministers  of  the  Protestant  Episcopal  church. 

George  A.  Brayton,  of  Apponaug,  was  judge  of  the  supreme 
court  and  for  a  number  of  years  chief  justice.  He  belonged  to  a 
prominent  family  of  very  early  settlers  in  the  town  of  Warwick. 
Daniel  Brayton,  of  Old  Warwick,  was  a  blacksmith.  He  removed  - 
his  shop  to  Apponaug,  where  he  continued  his  trade  many  years. 
George  A.  Brayton,  his  son,  was  elected  associate  justice  of  the 
supreme  court  in  1843,  and  remained  in  that  position  until  1868, 
when  he  was  elected  chief  judge,  which  position  he  held  until 
1874,  when  he  retired  on  full  salary,  having  served  thirty  years 
on  the  bench.  Charles  Brayton,  his  brother,  was  many  years 
town  clerk  of  Warwick,  was  associate  justice  of  the  supreme 
court  from  1814  to  1818,  and  subsequently  became  chief.  Wil- 
liam D.  Brayton,  son  of  Charles,  was  a  member  of  congress  from 
1856  to  1860,  and  his  son  Charles  R.  Brayton,  now  of  Providence, 
was  colonel  of  a  regiment  in  the  late  war  and  subsequently 
postmaster  of  Providence. 

"  Albert  Collins  Greene  was  born  in  East  Greenwich  in  1792. 
He  was  a  son  of  Perry  Greene,  a  brother  of  General  Nathaniel 
Greene.  He  read  law  in  New  York,  returned  to  his  native  town 
and  state  and  here  commenced  the  practice  of  his  profession. 


He  was  not  a  graduate  of  any  college,  but  was  considered  the 
most  eminent  lawyer  in  Rhode  Island.  In  1815  he  was  elected 
to  the  general  assembly  of  this  state.  In  1816  he  was  elected  a 
brigadier-general  of  the  militia,  then  of  more  importance  than 
now,  and  subsequently  became  a  major-general.  From  1822  to 
1825  he  served  again  in  the  legislature  of  the  state,  and  was 
chosen  speaker.  From  1825  to  1843  he  was  attorney-general  of 
Rhode  Island.  From  1845  to  1851  he  was  a  senator  from  Rhode 
Island  in  congress  ;  and  having  again  served  a  term  in  each  of 
the  two  houses  of  the  state  legislature,  he  retired  from  public 
life  in  1857,  and  died  at  Providence  January  8th,  1863." 

"  Nathan  Whiting,  characterized  in  his  obituary  as  a  '  lawyer 
of  deep  judgment  and  erudition,'  was  long  a  prominent  resident 
of  this  town.  Born  in  Franklin,  Mass.,  in  1774,  he  entered 
Brown  University  in  1793,  and  graduated  in  due  course.  He  was 
admitted  to  the  bar  in  1800,  and  came  directly  to  East  Green- 
wich. Immediately  after  his  arrival  he  delivered  an  oration  on 
the  death  of  Washington,  by  the  invitation  of  a  joint  committee 
of  East  Greenwich  and  Warwick.  It  still  remains  in  the  posses- 
sion of  his  descendants  to  testify  to  his  unusual  powers.  He  con- 
tinued to  reside  in  East  Greenwich  during  his  lifetime,  and  was 
devoted  to  the  practice  of  the  law  and  to  teaching.  He  died  Sep- 
tember 24th,  1842." 

"  William  Gorton  Bowen,  a  good  and  reliable  lawyer  and  a 
man  of  unblemished  reputation,  was  born  in  Coventry,  R.  I.,  May 
14th,  1799.  He  studied  law  with  General  Albert  C.  Greene,  in 
East  Greenwich,  and  was  admitted  to  the  bar  about  1824.  From 
that  time  until  his  death,  which  occurred  March  4th,  1854,  he 
continued  to  practice  law  with  good  success  at  East  Greenwich. 
During  this  time  he  was  elected  to  the  general  assembly,  and  re- 
ceived other  tokens  of  public  confidence.  He  married  a  Miss 
Susan  Packard,  of  South  Kingstown,  and  left  one  son,  William 
S.  Bowen,  M.  D.,  who  is  now  a  successful  oculist  and  aurist  at 
Hartford,  Conn. 

Joseph  Windsor  was  a  graduate  at  Brown  University  in  1840. 
He  was  born  in  Glocester,  R.  I.,  January  15th,  1821,  but  after 
graduation  taught  school  two  years  in  Prince  George's  county, 
Md.  He  returned  to  Rhode  Island  in  1842,  and  studied  law  with 
Samuel  Y.  Atwell  in  Providence.  After  he  was  admitted  to  the 
bar  he  removed  to  East  Greenwich  and  began  the  practice  of  the 
law.     Soon  after  he  lost  his  library  and  other  valuables  by  fire. 


He  possessed  great  business  capacity  and  was  better  fitted  for  a 
financier  than  for  a  lawyer,  and  became  a  very  successful  busi- 
ness man  in  the  community,  taking  great  interest  in  various  pro- 
jects. He  became  the  founder  and  first  secretary  of  the  Farmers' 
Mutual  Insurance  Company  of  East  Greenwich.  He  died  of  con- 
sumption December  20th,  1853,  and  was  buried  in  St.  Luke's 
cemetery  by  the  side  of  his  wife,  who  was  a  Miss  Louisa  McClel- 
lan,  an  aunt  of  General  George  B.  McClellan. 

William  E.  Peck  was  born  October  30tli,  1815.  He  studied  law 
with  Francis  E.  Hoppin  and  Richard  Ward  Greene,  was  ad- 
mitted to  the  bar  in  1850,  and  commenced  practice  in  Providenct. 
In  1852  he  became  a  member  of  the  legislature,  and  was  ap- 
pointed judge  of  the  court  of  magistrates.  In  1855  he  removed 
to  East  Greenwich,  but  continued  to  practice  in  Providence. 
In  1857  he  was  elected  a  senator  from  East  Greenwich.  In  1864 
he  joined  the  Rhode  Island  Cavalry,  and  accompanied  his  regi- 
ment as  second  lieutenant  to  Louisiana,  where  he  died  from  an 
attack  of  congestive  chills  August  13th,  1865. 

John  Hall*,  the  subject  of  this  sketch,  was  the  grandson  of  Wil- 
liam and  Mary  (Slocum)  Hall,  and  the  son  of  Slocum  and  Almy 
(Fry)  Hall.  He  was  born  January  18th,  1780,  in  North  Kings- 
town at  the  old  Hall  house  (now  standing)  on  the  westerly  side 
of  the  Post  road,  formerly  called  the  Pequot  path,  well  known 
from  an  attractive  height  on  the  estate  called  "  Hall's  Rocks." 
He  married,  August  28th,  1807,  Patience  Peckham,  daughter  of 
Benedict  and  Mary  Eldred  Peckham.  He  received  a  common 
school  education,  studied  law,  was  admitted  to  the  bar,  and  prac- 
ticed his  profession  in  his  native  town  until  his  decease  on  the 
18th  of  February,  1846.  At  that  time,  while  in  attendance  at  a 
convention  in  Providence,  after  dining  at  his  hotel,  being  seated 
in  his  chair  smoking  his  cigar,  and  enjoying  social  converse  with 
his  friends,  without  any  premonition  he  was  stricken  down, 

"  They  saw  in  death  his  eyelids  close 
Calmly,  as  to  a  night's  repose." 

Mr.  Hall  was  a  regular  attendant  at  the  Quaker  meeting,  and 
took  much  interest  therein.  He  was  interred  in  the  Hall  bury- 
ing ground  on  their  homestead  estate,  Thomas  Anthony,  a 
noted  Quaker  speaker,  delivering  the  funeral  discourse.  Mr.  Hall 
was  a  self-made  man,  and  an  ardent  and  active  democrat.     He 

*  By  John  J.  Reynolds. 


was  honest  in  his  dealings,  genial  and^  sympathetic  in  his 

David  S.  Baker,  Jr.,  of  North  Kingstown,  is  the  present  attor- 
ney for  the  United  States  District  of  Rhode  Island.  He  was 
educated  in  the  public  schools,  and  was  graduated  from  Brown 
University  in  1875.  He  then  studied  law  under  Honorable 
Samuel  Currey,  and  was  admitted  to  practice  in  1877,  his  office 
then  being  in  Wickford.  Mr.  Baker  was  superintendent  of  the 
town  schools  for  six  years,  was  a  member  of  the  lower  house  of 
the  legislature  two  years  and  of  the  senate  three  years,  at  the  end 
of  which  time,  in  1885,  he  resigned  his  seat  in  that  body  to  ac- 
cept the  district  attorneyship,  which  position  he  still  holds.  In 
1876  Mr.  Baker  wrote  the  history  of  the  town  of  North  Kings- 
town, by  order  of  the  town  council,  and  from  that  valuable  work 
we  are  indebted  for  much  matter  published  in  our  own. 

William  C.  Baker,  of  Providence,  is  a  brother  of  David  S. 
Baker.  He  is  a  graduate  of  Brown  University  of  the  class  of  1881, 
and  for  two  years  thereafter  was  a  professor  of  ancient  languages 
in  Devaux  College,  New  York.  He  was  superintendent  of  the 
town  schools  of  North  Kingstown  four  years,  after  which  he 
studied  law  under  his  brother,  and  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in 
1884.  In  1888  he  was  honored  by  his  party  with  a  nomination 
for  congress  for  the  second  district  of  Rhode  Island,  but  was  de- 

Elisha  C.  Clarke,  of  South  Kingstown,  was  a  student  of  law 
under  Elisha  R.  Potter,  and  was  one  of  the  most  brilliant  mem- 
bers of  the  profession.  He  was  a  native  of  the  town  of  South 
Kingstown,  was  admitted  to  the  bar  about  1860,  and  died  in  De- 
cember, 1887,  aged  about  forty-nine  years.  His  wife,  Mrs.  Brown 
Clarke,  died  prior  to  his  death.  Mr.  Clarke  is  spoken  of  by  the 
profession  as  possessing  a  strong,  analytical  mind,  and  as  being 
a  clear  reasoner  and  a  strong,  forceful  speaker. 

Henry  Howard,  of  Coventry,  is  a  native  of  the  town  of  Crans- 
ton, R.  I.,  but  about  the  year  1854,  moved  to  Coventry,  where  he 
still  resides.  He  was  educated  at  Brown  University  and  in  1848 
began  the  study  of  law  under  Governor  W.  W.  Hoppin.  After  ad- 
mission to  the  bar  he  was  at  first  associated  with  Governor  Hop- 
pin  and  subsequently  with  Thomas  A.  Jencks.  He  continued 
the  practice  of  his  profession  until  1858,  when  he  opened  an 
agency  in  New  York  for  the  Harris  Manufacturing  Company, 
but  upon  the  death  of  Governor  Harris  in  1861,  removed  the  of- 


fice  to  Providence,  where  it  is  now  under  his  superintendency.  In 
ISftS  he  married  Catherine  G.,  daughter  of  Governor  Elisha  Har- 
ris. In  1873  he  was  elected  governor  of  Rhode  Island  and  held 
the  office  until  187ri. 

Henry  B.  Anthony,  of  Coventry,  has  been  prominently  identi- 
fied with  the  history  of  the  state  in  the  various  political  positions 
he  has  held.  He  was  born  in  the  town  of  Coventry  April  1st, 
1816,  received  a  classical  education  from  Brown  University, 
assumed  editorial  charge  of  the  Providence  Journal,  was  elected 
governor  of  Rhode  Island  in  1849,  re-elected  in  1850  and  declined 
another  re-election.  He  was  elected  United  States  senator  from 
Rhode  Island  and  took  his  seat  in  1859,  and  was  successively  re- 
elected in  1864,  1870,  1876  and  1882.  He  died  while  in  office  in 
1884  and  was  succeeded  in  the  senate  by  Jonathan  Chace,  who 
was  elected  senator  January  21st,  1885,  to  fill  his  place. 

Thomas  H.  Peabody  was  born  in  North  Stonington,  Conn., 
September  23d,  1839.  He  studied  law  in  the  office  of  Thurston 
&  Ripley,  at  Providence,  R.  I.,  and  in  1864  was  admitted  to  the 
bar  of  Rhode  Island  and  subsequently  to  the  bars  of  Connecti- 
cut and  the  United  States  courts.  In  1865  he  opened  an  office  in 
Westerly,  where  he  continued  to  practice  until  1886,  since  which 
time  he  has  been  engaged  in  other  pursilits.  A  more  extended 
sketch  of  Mr.  Peabody's  life  may  be  found  in  Chapter  IV,  of 
this  volume. 

Charles  Perrin,  of  Westerly,  is  a  member  of  the  firm  of  Dixon 
&  Perrin.  He  is  a  native  of  Stonington,  Conn.,  and  was  educated 
in  the  high  school  of  that  place  and  in  other  institutions.  He 
studied  law  under  Judge  Alfred  Coit,  and  was  admitted  to  the 
bar  in  his  native  state  in  1875.  He  was  a  member  of  the  general 
assembly  in  1875,  clerk  of  the  house  of  representatives  in  1880 
and  1881,  and  clerk  of  the  senate  in  1882.  In  1882  he  began  the 
practice  of  law  with  Thomas  H.  Peabody,  of  Westerly,  under 
whom  he  had  previously  finished  his  course  at  law,  after  the 
death  of  Judge  Coit.  In  1886  he  formed  a  partnership  with  Na- 
than F.  Dixon,  with  whom  he  is  now  associated. 

Albert  B.  Crafts,  of  Westerly,  is  a  native  of  Brockton,  Mass.  He 
is  a  classical  graduate  of  Middletown,  Conn.,  of  the  class  of  1871. 
During  this  same  year  he  began  the  study  of  law  under  Thomas 
H.  Peabody  and  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  1875.  In  1877  he  be- 
gan practicing  with  his  former  teacher  and  was  a  member  of  this 




c^.-^^'Oid^^z,-.,^^^   ^/cy^ 



firm  until  1881.  From  1881  to  1887  he  was  the  senior  member  of 
the  law  firm  of  Crafts  &  Tillinghast,  since  which  time  he  has 
been  alone. 

Frank  W.  Tillinghast,  now  a  manufacturer  and  a  member  of 
the  Pocassett  Warp  Company,  is  a  native  of  the  town  of  Exeter. 
He  is  a  graduate  of  Harvard  University,  and  subsequently  took 
his  law  course  under  Judge  Tillinghast,  of  Pawtuxet.  He  was  a 
member  of  the  firm  of  Crafts  &  Tillinghast  from  March  1st,  1884, 
to  April  26th,  1887. 

Albert  B.  Burdick  was  formerly  a  minister,  and  at  one  time 
pastor  of  Pawcatuck  Seventh  Day  Baptist  church  of  Westerly.  In 
1877,  very  late  in  life,  he  began  the  study  of  law  under  Nathan 
F.  Dixon,  of  that  village,  and  soon  after  was  admitted  to  the  bar. 
About  this  time  he  was  made  trial  justice,  which  position  he  held 
until  the  judicial  district  system  came  into  use  in  1886.  He  then 
continued  his  chosen  profession  until  his  death  July  3d,  1887, 
when  about  seventy  years  of  age.  He  was  an  able  man  and  a 
gifted  speaker. 

Henry  Whipple,  of  Westerly,  judge  of  the  Third  Rhode  Island 
district,  which  embraces  the  towns  of  Westerly,  Richmond, 
Charlestown  and  Hopkinton,  was  born  September  7th,  1825,  at 
Anthony,  R.  I.  In  1842  he  went  to  the  town  of  Hopkinton  and 
followed  his  trade,  that  of  a  harness  maker.  In  1858  he  was 
elected  town  clerk  of  Hopkinton  and  held  that  position  till  1867. 
He  was  assessor  of  the  internal  revenue  tax  from  1862  to  1872. 
In  1868  he  left  Hopkinton  and  came  to  Westerly,  where  he  has 
since  resided.  He  was  elected  sheriff  of  Washington  county  in 
1872,  and  re-elected  each  year  thereafter  until  1886,  when  he  was 
chosen  judge  of  the  Third  Judicial  district  by  the  general  assem- 
bly. The  legal  fraternity  compliment  Judge  Whipple  as  an  able 
and  efficient  executive. 

Eugene  F.  Warner,  of  Anthony,  R.  I.,  is  judge  of  the  Fourth 
Judicial  district,  which  comprises  the  county  of  Kent.  He  was 
educated  at  Newton,  Mass.,  and  at  Brown  University,  where  he 
graduated  in  1875.  He  studied  law  under  James  H.  Parsons  and 
Joseph  E.  Spink,  and  upon  the  completion  of  his  studies  in  1877, 
opened  an  office  in  Providence.  He  was  admitted  to  the  United 
States  court  in  1882.  He  became  a  member  of  the  general 
assembly  in  1877,  clerk -of  the  Rhode  Island  senate  in  1877,  which 
position  he  still  holds  ;  secretary  of  the  republican  state  central 


committee  from   1882  to  1887,  and  was  elected  judge  of   Kent 
county  district  in  1886. 

Nathan  B.  Lewis,  judge  of  the  Second  Judicial  district  of  Rhode 
Island,  was  born  in  the  town  of  Exeter,  February  26th,  1842.  He 
received  his  education  in  the  common  and  select  schools  of  his 
town,  and  at  East  Greenwich  academy,after  which  he  taught  school 
for  a  few  years.  In  1862  he  enlisted  in  Company  F,  Seventh  Rhode 
Island  Volunteer  Infantry,  and  was  with  that  regiment  everyday 
until  discharged  June  9th,  1865,  participating  in  every  battle.  He 
was  never  absent  a  day  for  any  cause  while  in  the  service.  After 
the  war  he  taught  school  again,  and  for  a  few  years  represented 
a  publication  in  some  of  the  Western  states  with  marked  success. 
In  1869  he  was  elected  to  the  general  assembly  from  the  town  of 
Exeter,  and  was  re-elected  in  1870  and  1871.  He  moved  to  Pine 
Hill  in  1871,  and  purchased  the  farm  owned  by  Thomas  Phillips. 
In  1872  he  succeeded  Mr.  Phillips  as  town  clerk,  and  held  that 
position  until  June,  1888.  In  the  spring  of  1886  he  was  elected 
to  the  house  of  representatives  again.  He  was  elected  trial  justice 
in  1873  for  the  town  of  Exeter,  and  in  1886,  upon  the  adoption 
of  the  district  system,  was  elected  justice  of  the  Second  Judicial 
district,  which  position  he  still  holds.  He  was  a  member  of  the 
school  committee  from  1865  to  1886,  and  about  one  third  of  that 
time  superintendent  of  the  town  schools.  He  was  tax  assessor 
from  1873  to  1888,  was  coroner  of  the  town  of  Exeter  from  1884 
until  1886,  was  justice  of  the  peace  continuously  from  1873,  and 
has  held  other  positions  of  responsibility. 

Samuel  W.  K.  Allen.— Thomas  Allen  was  the  great-great- 
grandfather of  the  subject  of  this  biographical  sketch.  His  son 
Samuel  was  the  father  of  Thomas,  who  resided  on  the  home- 
stead in  North  Kingstown,  and  spent  his  life  in  the  employments 
pertaining  to  agriculture.  By  his  marriage  to  Eliza  Ann  Til- 
linghast,  of  East  Greenwich,  were  born  children :  Eliza,  Maria, 
Samuel  G.,  Susan  T.,  George  W.  T.,  Nicholas  T.,  Elsie  Ann,  Julia 
A.  and  Clarissa.  George  W.  T.  Allen  was  born  on  the  homestead 
farm  at  Quidnessett,  in  North  Kingstown,  where  his  life,  with  a 
brief  exception,  was  spent,  and  where  his  death  occurred.  He 
was  attracted  to  the  gold  fields  of  California  during  the  early 
period  of  emigration  to  that  territory,  and  among  the  Argonauts 
of  '49,  whose  pioneer  experiences  were  fraught  with  interest  if 
not  with  danger.     Mr.  Allen  subsequently  followed  the  tailor's 




trade  for  many  years  in  East  Greenwich.  He  married  Ann, 
daughter  of  Clark  Tillinghast,  of  Exeter.  Their  children  were 
three  in  number,  the  only  survivor  being  Samuel  W.  K,  Allen, 
who  was  born  January  2d,  1842,  in  North  Kingstown.  He  re- 
ceived his  elementary  education  at  the  East  Greenwich  academy, 
subsequently  entered  the  New  York  Conference  Seminary,  and 
pursued  a  more  thorough  course  at  the  Boston  University. 

In  1861,  the  first  year  of  the  rebellion,  he  enlisted  as  a  member 
of  the  11th  United  States  Infantry,  and  served  until  1863,  being 
specially  detailed  for  detached  and  recruiting  service.  He  chose 
the  bar  as  a  profession,  began  its  study  with  M.  S.  Wilcox,  of 
Jefferson,  New  York,  and  entering  the  law  department  of  the 
Boston  University  in  1873,  was  in  1875  graduated  from  that 
institution.  Mr.  Allen  was  admitted  to  practice  at  both  the 
Massachusetts  and  Rhode  Island  bar,  and  in  1877  located  in  East 
Greenwich,  where  his  knowledge  of  the  law,  united  with  ability 
and  application,  soon  brought  him  to  notice  and  caused  him  to 
be  identified  with  a  large  proportion  of  the  important  cases  in 
the  county.  He  entered  public  life  in  1884—6  as  the  successful 
candidate  of  the  republican  party  for  the  state  legislature.  He  is 
also  judge  advocate  of  the  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic  for  the 
Department  of  Rhode  Island.  Mr.  Allen  is  an  active  member 
of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  church  of  East  Greenwich,  and  has 
from  time  to  time  filled  the  more  important  offices  connected 
with  that  organization.  He  was  in  1860  married  to  Harriet, 
daughter  of  Chauncey  and  Lucy  B.  Minor,  of  Jefferson,  N.  Y. 
Their  children  are :  Thomas,  Howard,  Lucy  A.  and  Samuel  W. 
K.,  Jr. 

Benjamin  W.  Case,  of  Wakefield,  is  a  successful  lawyer,  though 
one  of  the  younger  members  of  the  bar.  He  is  a  native  of  Rhode 
Island,  born  thirty-three  years  ago.  He  was  educated  in  the 
public  schools  of  South  Kingstown,  and  has  had  some  advantages 
of  collegiate  instruction.  He  studied  his  profession  under  Elisha 
C.  Clarke,  an  able  barrister  of  Kingston,  and  was  admitted  to 
practice  in  1877,  when  twenty-one  years  old.  Mr.  Case  was  clerk 
of  the  courts  both  before  and  after  he  was  admitted  to  the  bar — 
of  the  common  pleas  court  in  1875,  and  of  the  common  pleas  and 
supreme  courts  in  1887. 

Charles  J.  Arms,  of  East  Greenwich,  a  recent  member  of  the 
bar,  is  a  native  of  the  town  of  Norwich,  Conn.  He  received  a 
good  literary  education,  and  after  a  thorough  preparation  in  law 


under  Harrison  &  Okey  and  Abram  R.  Lawrence,  was  admitted 
to  practice  in  the  courts  of  New  York  state,  April  20th,  1866,  and 
to  the  supreme  court  of  Pennsylvania,  May  17th,  1870,  and  the 
courts  of  Rhode  Island  February  19th,  1887.  Mr.  Arms  came  to 
East  Greenwich  in  1885  as  a  correspondent  of  the  Providence 
Journal,  but  again  drifted  into  the  ranks  of  the  legal  fraternity, 
where  his  education  and  ability  will  be  fully  appreciated. 



Physicians  of  Washington  County.* 

James  Noyes.— George  Stillman.— Thomas  Rodman.— "William  Vincent.— Joshua 
Babcock.— Sylvester  Gardiner. — Joseph  Comstook.— John  'Aldrich. — Daniel 
Lee. — James  Noyes. — George  Hazard  Perry. — Nathan  Knight. — Israel  An- 
thony.— Peleg  Johnson.— William  G.  Shaw. — Amos  Collins.— Isaac  Collins. — 
John  Collins.— John  M.  Collins.— Stephen  F.  Griffin.— Dan  King.— Wilham 
Robinson. — Horatio  Robinson. — John  G.  Pierce. — Joseph  H.  Griffin. ^Henry 
Aldrich. — George  Hazard  Church. — William  T.  Thurston. — John  B.  Rose.— 
John  E.  Weeden.— Thomas  A.  Hazard. — William  H.  Wilbur.— Edwin  R. 
Lewis. — Edwin  Anthony. — Joseph  D.  Kenyon. — John  D.  Kenyon. — Amos  R. 
Collins. — Albert  A.  Saunders. — Samuel  B.  Church. — Elisha  P.  Clarke. — John 
A.  Wilcox.  — Curtiss  E.  Maryott. — J.  Howard  Morgan. — John  Wilbur. — John 
H.  Merrill. — Henry  N.  Crandall. — George  C.  Bailey. — Alexander  B.  Briggs. — 
Charles  Hitchcock. — Etta  Payne. — Lucy  A.  Babcock. — John  E.  Perry. — S. 
Oscar  Myers. — James  N.  Lewis. — H.  W.  Rose. — George  H.  Beebe. — Alvin  H. 
Eccleston. — George  V.  Foster. ^George  F.  Bliven. — Edward  E.  Kenyon. — 
Herbert  J.  Pomroy. — F.  T.  Rogers. — Henry  K.  Gardner. — Philip  K.  Taylor. 
— William  J.  Ryan. — Lorin  F.Wood. — William  James. — John  Champlin. — 
Edwin  R.  Lewis. — Other  Physicians. — County  Medical  Society. 

IT  has  been  truly  said  that  to  write  the  history  of  any  epoch 
the  historian  must  study  the  lives  of  the  men  who  have  lived 

in  it,  and  doubly  true  is  it  of  the  history  of  the  medical  pro- 
fession of  Washington  county,  for  it  is  made  up  entirely  of  the 
records  of  the  lives  of  those  who  have  practiced  medicine  within 
its  boundaries. 

The  late  Doctor  Edwin  Ransome  Lewis,  of  Westerly,  to  whom 
the  author  is  much  indebted  for  data  concerning  the  earlier  phy- 
sicians of  this  county,  in  an  address  before  the  Washington 
County  Medical  Society,  of  which  he  was  the  first  president, 

*  The  sketches  of  Physicians  of  Washington  County  in  this  chapter  were  con- 
tributed by  Frederick  T.  Rogers,  M.  D.,  of  Westerly,  with  the  exception  of  the 
following,  viz.:  William  G.  Shaw,  George  Hazard  Church,  Edwin  R.  Lewis, 
Stephen  F.  Griffin,  J.  H.  Griffin,  Joseph  D.  Kenyon,  John  D.  Kenyon,  Samuel 
B.  Church,  John  A.  Wilcox,  H.  W.  Rose,  F.  T.  Rogers  and  Robert  K,  Sun- 
derland . 


quoted  these  words  of  Horace  Greely :  "  Name  is  a  vapor,  nativity 
an  accident,  oblivion  a  certainty  ;"  and  remarked  that  "  when  a 
man  has  been  dead  for  fifty  years  his  name  is  strange  to  a  large 
portion  of  the  community  in  which  he  lived ;  in  one  hundred 
years  all  recollection  of  him  is  gone,  and  it  is  indeed  an  accident 
if  his  name  has  not  passed  into  oblivion."  So  it  is  not  strange 
that  in  the  early  history  of  this  county  the  lines  are  faint  and  in 
many  cases  almost  indistinct,  yet  at  the  outset  we  find  well  re- 
corded the  principal  facts  relative  to  the  life  of  the  first  physician 
who  practiced  medicine  within  our  boundaries. 

In  1662,  James  Noyes,  an  educated  physician  and  divine,  set- 
tled near  Anguilla  brook,  south  of  the  road  now  leading  from 
Westerly  to  Mystic,  and  for  fifty  years  was  pastor  of  the  First 
Congregational  church,  now  known  as  the  Road  Meeting  House. 
There  being  few  white  people  at  this  time  in  the  county  he  be- 
came extensively  known,  and  his  practice  extended  from  New 
London  to  Newport.  He  was  called  to  administer  to  the  physi- 
cal sufferings  as  well  as  to  attend  to  the  spiritual  wants  of  his 
patients.  In  1675,  when  Captain  Mason  was  about  to  proceed 
against  the  Narragansetts  in  the  great  swamp  at  Kingstown,  Doc- 
tor Noyes  was  assigned  by  the  authorities  to  go  with  him  as  sur- 
geon, but  sickness  in  his  family  prevented ;  however,  after  the 
battle  had  been  fought  and  won,  the  wounded  of  both  friends 
and  foes  were  brought  to  his  house,  and  it  was  there  that  sen- 
tence of  death  was  pronotmced  upon  Canonchet.  Doctor  Noyes 
was  a  son  of  Reverend  James  Noyes,  a  native  of  Wiltshire,  Eng., 
who  was  born  there  in  1608,  educated  at  Oxford  as  a  divine,  and 
came  to  America  in  1634,  and  first  settled  in  Newbury,  Mass., 
where  Doctor  James  Noyes  was  born  in  1640.  Doctor  Noyes 
married  Dorothy  Stanton,  and  by  her  had  five  sons,  from  the 
eldest  of  whom,  Thomas,  was  descended  Joseph,  the  father  of  the 
Doctor  James  Noyes  of  later  date. 

The  next  physician  in  Westerly  of  whom  we  have  record  was 
Doctor  George  Stillman,  an  Englishman  by  birth,  who  came  to 
Westerly  in  1700  from  Wethersfield,  Conn.,  purchased  land  and 
practiced  medicine  for  several  years,  at  the  same  time  eking 
out  a  somewhat  scanty  income  by  working  at  his  trade,  that  of 
a  tailor. 

Cotemporaneous  with  these  practitioners  in  the  eastern  part 
of  the  county,  we  know  that  Doctor  Thomas  Rodman,  from  whose 
marriage  with  Patience,  daughter  of  Peter  and  Ann  Easton,  is 


descended  the  branch  of  the  Rodman  family  in  South  Kings- 
town, was  practicing  in  the  other  end  of  the  county.  Little  is 
known  of  his  personal  history,  save  that  he  was  one  of  the 
earliest  settlers  in  Kingstown,  and  that  the  birth  of  his  son  is 
recorded  there  as  occurring  in  1707.  There  is  also  recorded  in 
the  records  of  that  town  the  grant  of  a  portion  of  land  to  Doctor 
Thomas  Rodman  in  consideration  for  his  services,  which  land 
descended  to  his  son,  Thomas  Rodman,  Jr.,  and  this  fact  renders 
it  probable  that  his  practice  was  at  first  located  in  Kingstown  ; 
although  his  later  years,  after  the  age  of  forty,  were  spent  in 
Newport,  where  he  became  an  important  factor  in  the  Society 
of  Friends,  of  which  he  was  a  member.  Doctor  Rodman's  pro- 
geny were  very  numerous,  and  included  in  one  generation  five 
physicians.  His  son  Thomas,  by  his  first  marriage,  died  in  Kings- 
town in  1773. 

Succeeding  Doctor  George  Stillman  in  Westerly  came  Doctor 
William  Vincent,  who  was  born  in  1729,  and  after  commencing 
to  practice  his  profession  in  Westerly  lived  there  until  his  death, 
which  occurred  in  1807.  During  his  life  he  occupied  at  different 
times  many  positions  of  trust  in  town  and  state,  and  was  during 
the  revolutionary  war  a  surgeon  of  Colonel  Noyes'  regiment  of 
militia,  which  saw  much  active  service. 

Doctor  Joshua  Babcock  was  the  first  native  of  the  town  of 
Westerly  who  practiced  medicine  within  its  boundaries.  He  was 
born  in  1707,  was  a  graduate  of  Yale  College  and  studied  medi- 
cine in  Boston,  afterward  perfecting  his  education  in  England. 
Upon  the  completion  of  his  studies  he  settled  in  his  native  town 
and  soon  became  very  extensively  known,'as  a  surgeon,  through- 
otit  southern  New  England,  and  was  often  called  in  consultation 
to  neighboring  towns.  He  established  the  largest  retail  store 
between  New  York  and  Boston,  and  by  reason  of  his  position 
and  wealth  was  at  once  called  upon  to  take  an  active  part  in  pub- 
lic life  and  was  for  years  justice  of  the  supreme  court  of  Rhode 
Island.  For  over  forty  years  he  represented  the  town  in  the 
general  assembly,  and  was  a  member  of  the  state  council  of  war 
at  the  time  of  the  revolution.  Generous  he  was  always,  and  it 
is  recorded  that  he  donated  one  hundred  dollars  to  the  poor  of 
Boston,  a  sum  then  of  great  relative  magnitude.  Doctor  Bab- 
cock was  the  first  postmaster  of  Westerly,  the  office  being  located 
at  his  house  and  the  receipts  of  the  office  during  the  first  year 
were  less  than  seven  dollars.     He  was  a  true  patriot  and  during 


the  darkest  days  of  the  revolution,  when  the  state  was  in  great 
need  of  money,  he  volunteered  to  loan  the  required  amount  and 
to  take  the  risk  of  ultimate  payment  upon  himself,  confident  in 
the  final  success  of  the  cause  he  loved  so  well.  His  home  was 
the  resort  of  the  educated  men  of  the  state  and  country;  Washing- 
ton, Franklin  and  many  other  noted  men  of  that  period  were 
frequently  his  guests.  Doctor  Babcock  was  one  of  the  corporate 
members  of  Brown  University  and  one  of  its  fellows,  and  was, 
like  his  friend  and  associate.  Governor  vSamuel  Ward,  a  Seventh 
Day  Baptist.  He  was  a  man  of  medium  size,  spare  habit,  light 
and  active.  At  seventy-five  years  of  age  it  is  said  that  he  could 
easily  mount  a  sixteen-hand  horse  with  the  agility  of  a  man  of 
twenty.  In  his  address  and  manners  he  was  a  gentleman  of  the 
old  school,  scrupulously  polite,  and  laid  great  stress  upon  the  con- 
ventionalities of  life.  As  a  citizen,  physician,  legislator,  judge, 
teacher  and  scholar  he  had  no  superior. 

Doctor  Sylvester  Gardiner  was  a  son  of  William  Gardiner, 
Esq.,  of  South  Kingstown,  and  was  born  there  in  1707.  He 
gained  his  medical  education  in  Boston  and  completed  his  course 
in  Europe,  studying  Ophthalmology  four  years  in  Paris.  He  re- 
turned to  this  county,  but  soon  went  to  Boston  where  he  became 
famous  and  had  a  most  extensive  practice  in  medicine  and  oper- 
ative surgery,  later  practicing  in  Newport,  where  he  lived  until 
his  death  which  occurred  in  1786. 

Doctor  Joseph  Comstock,  another  South  Kingstown  physician, 
came  from  Lyme,  Conn.,  as  an  assistant  to  Doctor  Joshua  Perry 
about  1750,  remaining  there  in  practice  until  the  return  of  Doc- 
tor Perry  to  his  native  state,  when  Doctor  Comstock  removed  to 
Lebanon,  Conn.,  where  he  lived  until  he  was  over  ninety  years 
of  age.  Doctor  Comstock  was  an  exceedingh^  well  educated 
man  and  wrote  several  books,  among  which  was  the  "  Tongue  of 
Time  or  Star  of  the  vStates."  He  also  edited  an  edition  of 
"  Self-love,"  a  sermon  delivered  by  Robert  Cushman  in  1621  and 
said  to  be  the  first  sermon  preached  in  New  England  and  oldest 
extant  of  any  delivered  in  America.  This  was  published  in  New 
York  in  1847  by  J.  E.  D.  Comstock. 

Doctor  John  Aldrich,  of  Hopkinton,  was  a  native  of  the  town 
of  Tolland,  Conn.,  where  he  was  born  April  10th,  1750.  He  was 
the  son  of  Timothy  and  Mary  Aldrich,  and  received  the  rudi- 
ments of  a  literary  education  in  the  schools  of  that  village.  His 
medical  knowledge  was  gained  under  the  teaching  of  Doctor 


Perkins,  of  Tolland,  and  when  the  revolutionary  war  began  he 
received  a  commission  as  surgeon  of  a  regiment,  which  position 
he  held  until  captured  by  the  British  at  the  battle  of  White 
Plains.  For  some  reason  he  did  not  receive  the  usual  fate  of 
captives  but  was  taken  to  Jamaica,  one  of  the  West  India  islands, 
where  he  remained  a  captive  until  the  close  of  the  war ;  yet  on 
account  of  his  skill  as  a  surgeon  and  ability  he  was  treated  with 
every  courtesy  by  his  captors,  and  allowed  great  liberties,  and 
at  one  time  was  in  charge  of  the  hospital  on  the  island.  Doctor 
Aldrich  was  married  to  Elizabeth  Thurston,  a  cousin  of  the  Hon. 
Benjamin  Thurston,  of  Hopkinton,  and  soon  after  his  marriage 
removed  to  New  York  state.  While  there  he  suffered  from  an 
attack  of  yellow  fever,  and  upon  his  recovery  he  returned  to 
Rhode  Island  and  practiced  medicine  until  his  death,  which  oc- 
curred in  Hopkinton,  March  23d,  1843.  Doctor  Aldrich  was  the 
father  of  Doctor  Henry  Aldrich,  of  Wyoming,  of  Luke  Aldrich, 
of  South  Kingstown,  grandfather  of  J.  M.  Aldrich,  of  Westerly, 
and  great-grandfather  of  Doctor  John  Aldrich,  a  recent  graduate 
of  the  College  of  Physicians  and  Surgeons. 

Doctor  Daniel  Lee,  soon  after  the  death  of  Doctor  Joshua  Bab- 
cock,  came  to  Westerly  and  began  practice.  His  office  was  loca- 
ted in  what  was  known  as  the  old  Dixon  House,  which  he  at  that 
time  owned,  and  he  was  the  first  physician  in  Westerly  who  de- 
voted his  entire  time  to  the  practice  of  his  profession.  The  fame 
of  Doctor  Lee  was  wide  extended  and  brought  many  medical 
students  to  study  under  his  direction,  but  he  died  in  the  very 
prime  of  his  career  at  forty-two  years  of  age. 

Doctor  James  Noyes  was  the  son  of  Joseph  Noyes  and  Barbara 
Wells,  and  was  born  in  1768  in  Westerly,  near  Noyes'  Neck,  on 
the  site  of  the  farm  now  occupied  (1889)  by  Gideon  Collins.  Here 
Doctor  Noyes  was  reared  under  the  surveillance  of  his  father, 
who  was  one  of  the  strictest  of  all  strict  Presbyterians,  and  his 
early  training  can  be  surmised  by  the  following  anecdote  of  his 
father.  It  is  related  that  on  his  departure  for  church  on  Sunday 
he  would  call  his  children  together  and  tie  them  up,  lest  in  their 
playfulness  they  should  forget  their  training  and  desecrate  the 
holy  day.  His  wife  did  not  agree  with  him  and  as  soon  as  he 
was  out  of  sight  would  release  the  captives  upon  their  promise 
that  they  would  return  and  be  again  tied  before  their  father 
should  appear  in  sight.  It  is  not  strange  therefore  that  Doctor 
Noyes  should,  in  his  active  life  present  the  characteristics  of  his 


father.  He  practiced  for  some  time  in  Hopkinton  and  later  in 
Westerly,  living  in  the  house  now  owned  by  Orlando  Smith.  He 
died  in  1856. 

Doctor  George  Hazard  Perry  was  a  son  of  George  H.  and  Abi- 
gail (Chesebrough)  Perry.  His  father  was  a  brother  of  Chris- 
topher Raymond  Perry,  the  father  of  Commodore  Oliver  Hazard 
Perry,  and  a  direct  descendant  of  Edward  Perry,  who  came  from 
Devonshire,  Eng.,  in  1644,  and  who  married  a  daughter  of  Gov- 
ernor James  Freeman  of  Plymouth,  Mass.,  in  1653.  Doctor  Perry 
was  born  in  Whitestown,  N.  Y.,  in  June,  1789,  and  was  the  first 
male  white  child  born  in  that  place.  It  is  related  that  when 
Commodore  Oliver  H.  Perry  was  born  in  1785  the  doctor's  mother, 
who  was  present,  spread  a  silk  handkerchief  over  the  child  and 
remarked  that  the  child  though  now  covered  by  a  handkerchief 
would  some  day  become  a  great  man.  How  true  the  prophesy 
was,  history  records.  After  his  marriage  to  Elizabeth,  daughter 
of  Thomas  and  Mary  Wells,  Doctor  Perry  lived  for  some  time 
in  Salem,  N.  Y.,  but  afterward  removed  to  Hopkinton.  Doctor 
Perry  died  suddenly  August  30th,  1854,  while  on  a  visit  to 
Pomfret,  Conn. 

Doctor  Nathan  Knight,  of  Killingly,  Conn.,  was  for  thirty 
years  or  more  in  practice  in  Usquepaug,  having  studied  under 
the  direction  of  Doctor  Jonathan  Anthony,  and  in  early  life  mar- 
ried his  daughter.  Doctor  Knight's  descendants  still  live  in 

Doctor  Israel  Anthony,  son  of  Doctor  Jonathan  Anthony  and 
Patience  (Gardner)  Anthony,  was  born  in  Foster,  R.  I.,  January 
15th,  1790.  Here  his  early  life  was  spent,  until  under  his  father's 
supervision  he  began  the  study  of  medicine  in  Providence,  where 
he  graduated  in  1819.  He  immediately  began  practice  at  Usque- 
paug, and  continued  in  business  there  until  his  death,  which  oc- 
curred March  1st,  1867.  Doctor  Anthonj^vas  twice  married;  first 
to  Desire  Aldrich,  of  Scituate,  by  whom  he  had  one  daughter, 
and  next  to  Ann  H.  Ennis  of  South  Kingstown,  in  1820,by  whom 
he  had  one  child,  the  late  Doctor  Edwin  Anthon5^  Doctor  Israel 
Anthony  was  highly  esteemed  by  the  community  in  which  he 
lived,  and  twice  represented  his  town  in  the  legislature. 

Cotemporaneous  with  Doctor  Lee  in  Westerly  was  Doctor 
Peleg  Johnson,  of  South  Kingstown,  who  was  born  in  Charles- 
town,  R.  I.,  July  27th,  1791 ,  and  who  was  the  oldest  son  of  Kenyon 
and  Elizabeth  Johnson.    His  early  life  was  spent  upon  his  father's 


farm,  but  even  there  he  evinced  when  yet  a  lad  an  eagerness  and 
determination  to  gain  an  education,  which  was  a  sore  disappoint- 
ment to  his  father,  who  desired  only  to  retain  his  services  on 
the  family  estate.  When  twenty  the  bonds  became  too  galling, 
and  he  left  the  farm  with  five  dollars  in  his  pocket  and  a  well 
worn  suit  of  clothes  in  lieu  of  his  father's  blessing,  and  tramping 
to  Mansfield,  Conn.,  began  his  studies  under  Doctor  Soule  of  that 
place.  He  was  able,  after  hard  years  of  study  and  economy,  to 
graduate  from  Yale  College  in  1816.  In  May,  1821,  he  was  mar- 
ried to  Mrs.  Sarah  Hines,  of  Washington,  R.  I.,  and  soon  re- 
moved to  Kingston,  where  he  lived  until  his  death,  which  oc- 
curred June  8th,  1859.  During  the  last  few  months  of  his  life  he 
was  crippled  by  a  fracture  of  the  thigh  and  a  compound  fracture 
of  the  leg  resulting  from  an  accident,  and  his  death  occurred 
from  apoplexy,  which  seized  him  while  on  his  way  to  visit  a 
patient.  Doctor  Johnson  was  a  member  of  the  State  Medical 
Society.  In  spite  of  the  low  tariff  for  professional  services  and 
his  being  a  notoriously  lenient  creditor.  Doctor  Johnson  died 
possessed  of  considerable  wealth,  a  fact  which,  when  compared 
with  the  business  which  he  did,  excites  comment.  His  diary  and 
ledger  is  still  extant,  and  from  it  we  learn  each  day  the  tempera- 
ture, the  weather,  direction  of  wind  and  probabilities  of  the  mor- 
row, as  well  as  a  record  of  his  daily  doings.  The  following  items, 
copied  from  its  pages  are  of  interest,  showing  the  daily  life  of  a 
physician  of  that  day  : 

"  January  1st,  1849. — Weather  cold,  wind  N.  W.  snow  and  ice 
covers  the  ground  and  makes  it  good  sleighing.  Weeden  Allen's 
wife  was  this  morning  delivered  of  three  daughters. 

"January  2d,  1849. — Wind  N.W.  and  extremely  cold.  Last  even- 
ing the  good  people  of  Westerly  held  a  fair  at  the  new  Congre- 
gational meeting  house.  There  was  about  four  hundred  present 
when  without  warning  the  iioor  gave  way  and  precipitated  the 
people  in  the  cellar  below.     Many  received  fractured  limbs. 

"  January  11th,  1849. — Last  evening  two  prisoners  escaped  from 
jail.  Wind  N.  W.  probably  warmer  to-morrow.  Great  excitement 
all  over  the  country  over  the  reported  discovery  of  gold  in  Cali- 

"June  13th,  1849. — Wind  S.  E.  Bought  a  pound  of  tea  of  P. 
Helm,  price  .37^  cts." 

From  his  ledger  we  learn  of  his  daily  routine  : 

"  Nov.  4,  1851,  Stephen  Grinnell,  Dr.,  to  visit  &  medicine  .42. 


Wilkins  Updike,  Dr.,  to  visit  &  medicine,  .42,  to  extra  pills  for 
servant,  .12.  Nov.  10,  1851,  John  Cassel,  Cr.,  by  1  cord  wood, 
3.00.  January  12,  ]8.')2,  Geo.  Johnson,  Dr.,  to  medicine  for  boy, 
.17.  Robert  Rathborn,  Dr.,  to  parturition,  3.00.  Town  of  King- 
ston, Dr.,  to  physick  for  two  prisoners,  .17." 

For  some  reason,  perhaps  competition,  the  tariff  for  profes- 
sional services  became  higher  as  we  learn  by  the  following 
charges :  "  Robert  B.  Rose,  Dr.,  to  visit  &  medicine,  .67 ;  to  par- 
turition, 5.00."  In  spite  of  the  low  prices  for  his  services  hay  is 
quoted  at  $20  per  ton.  During  one  week,  according  to  his  ledger, 
that  beginning  January  22d,  1855,  Doctor  Johnson  had  charged 
upon  his  book  $6.25,  which  necessitated  at  a  moderate  calculation 
a  ride  of  over  seventy-five  miles. 

Doctor  William  G.  Shaw,  deceased,  was  born  in  1770.  He  was 
educated  in  the  office  of  Doctor  Isaac  Center  for  seven  years,  af- 
ter having  been  in  the  drug  store  of  Nicholas  Tillinghast  &  Co., 
several  years.  In  1793  he  located  in  the  Mohawk  Valley  and 
practiced  a  year.  In  1794  he  began  in  Wickford  a  practice  which 
was  ended  by  his  death  in  1865.  He  aided  the  Wickford  Acad- 
emy (chartered  in  1800)  in  many  ways.  He  was  married  in  1796  to 
Mrs.  Elizabeth  McLaughlin,  a  daughter  of  Samuel  Brenton,  Esq. 
Of  his  nine  children,  his  daughter  Rebecca  A.  is  the  only  sur- 
vivor. His  son  Samuel  B.  Shaw  was  a  D.  D.  and  William  A.  was 
an  M.  D. 

No  name  has  been  more  prominent  in  the  medical  history  of 
the  county  than  that  of  Collins,  for  at  no  time  since  1792  has 
there  failed  to  be  in  active  practice  somewhere  within  its  limits 
a  Doctor  Collins.  The  oldest  physician  of  that  name  was  Doctor 
Amos  Collins,  the  son  of  Amos  and  Thankful  (Clark)  Collins, 
who  was  born  in  North  Stonington, Conn., December  12th, 1774,  and 
studied  medicine  with  Doctor  Daniel  Lee,  of  Westerly,  and  was 
married  to  Mary  Peckham.  During  the  early  years  of  his  life 
he  practiced  in  New  London,  Conn.,  where  he  was  specially 
noted  as  active  in  an  epidemic  of  yellow  fever  (most  of  the  in- 
habitants who  were  able  having  fled  from  the  city  and  among 
whom  were  some  of  the  physicians) ;  later  at  Cranston,  R.  I.,  and 
finally  at  Hopkinton.  Besides  the  practice  of  medicine  he  was, 
while  in  Cranston,  engaged  in  the  cloth  dressing  business  in 
partnership -with  Mr.  Smith  Thayer.  In  Hopkinton  he  repre- 
sented the  town  in  the  legislature.  He  died  at  the  age  of  sev- 
enty-five years. 


An  elder  brother  of  Amos  Collins,  but  younger  in  the  profes- 
sion, was  Isaac,  the  'grandfather  of  the  present  Doctor  Amos  R. 
Collins,  of  Westerly.  He  was  born  in  North  Stonington  in  1772. 
He  studied  medicine  with  his  brother,  and  after  his  marriage  to 
Mary  Collins  in  1792,  he  began  the  practice  of  medicine  in  Rich- 
mond, but  afterward  removed  to  Hopkinton.  Doctor  Isaac  Col- 
lins, like  his  brother,  was  prominent  in  town  affairs,  and  was  the 
representative  of  Hopkinton  and  Richmond  in  the  legislature. 
He  died  in  1842. 

Doctor  John  Collins  was  another  brother  who  also  practiced 
medicine  in  this  county.  He,  too,  was  born  in  North  Stoning- 
ton, studied  with  his  brother  and  began  to  practice  in  that  ap- 
parently medically  fertile  town,  Hopkinton.  Afterward  he  re- 
moved to  New  York  state.  Doctor  John  Collins  was,  during  the 
war  of  1812,  captured  by  the  British,  carried  to  Spain  and  re- 
mained a  captive  for  some  time. 

Doctor  John  M.  Collins  was  the  son  of  Isaac  and  Mary  Collins, 
and  was  born  in  Richmond,  R.  I.  He  studied  under  the  direc- 
tion of  his  father  and  Doctor  Wattles,  and  likewise  practiced  dur- 
ing the  most  of  his  life  in  the  Collins  reservation,  Hopkinton. 
He  was  married  to  Louise  Thompson  and  died  about  fifteen 
years  ago. 

Doctor  Stephen  F.  Griffin  was  a  resident  in  his  childhood  of 
Stephentown,  N.  Y.,  where  he  was  educated  as  a  phy.sician.  He 
commenced  the  practice  of  medicine  in  Charlestown,  R.  I.,  in 
1806,  and  was  married  to  Hannah,  daughter  of  Colonel  Joseph 
Hazard  of  South  Kingstown,  November  16th,  1807.  He  was  a 
gentleman  of  marked  ability  and  culture,  and  a  member  of  the 
Rhode  Island  Medical  Society  until  his  death,  which  occurred  at 
the  early  age  of  forty-four  years,  leaving  a  widow  and  five  chil- 

Closely  following  Doctor  Stephen  F.  Griffin  in  Charlestown 
was  Doctor  Dan  King,  who  lived  many  years  in  that  town.  He 
was  an  earnest  advocate  of  advanced  education  and  his  sons  were 
all  prepared  for  various  professions.  He  published  several  books, 
among  them  one  on  the  "  Use  of  Tobacco,"  which  gained  him 
considerable  notoriety.  In  1828  he  was  appointed  by  the  town 
to  build  the  first  school  house  erected  by  white  people  in  that 

Doctor  William  Robinson  practiced  medicine  in  Westerly 
about  1800.     He  was  a  graduate  of  Yale  College  and  was  born  in 


Plainfield,  Conn.  He  succeeded  Doctor  Daniel  Lee  and  was 
counted  a  successful  practitioner.  In  later  life  he  catered  to  the 
then  popular  craze  of  homoeopathy  and  began  practicing  that 
school.  Of  him  it  is  related  that  at  one  time  he  had  prescribed 
a  minute  trituration  of  some  drug,  cautionmg  the  patient  against 
leaving  such  a  potent  remedy  where  others  could  get  at  it.  Doc- 
tor John  E.  Weeden,  who  earlier  had  been  in  partnership  with 
him,  happened  to  be  visiting  a  patient  in  the  same  family,  and 
noticing  the  extreme  caution  with  which  they  cared  for  this  par- 
ticular medicine,  called  for  it  and  with  suicidal  intent  calmly 
swallowed  the  entire  contents  of  the  bottle.  The  family,  alarmed 
and  momentarily  expecting  to  see  the  doctor  expire  for  his  rash 
act,  hastened  for  assistance  and  Doctor  Robinson  upon  his  arrival 
quieted  their  fears  by  explaining  that  the  drug  was  only  potent 
in  the  case  of  an  ill  man,  but  Doctor  Weeden  being  in  good 
health  would  probably  suffer  no  ill  effects  until  later.  Doctor 
Weeden  is  still  living  in  anticipation  of  the  effects. 

Associated  with  Doctor  William  Robinson  was  Doctor  Horatio 
Robinson,  who  married  his  daughter  Mary  Ann  Robinson  in  Oc- 
tober, 1826.  Doctor  Robinson  was  the  son  of  Philip  and  Mary 
Robinson,  and  was  born  in  Lebanon,  Conn.,  February  4th,  1804. 
He  was  a  graduate  of  Berkshire  Medical  College  (now  extinct) 
and  has  practiced  in  Stonington,  Conn.,  Westerly  and  in  Auburn, 
N.  Y.,  where  he  now  lives. 

Doctor  John  G.  Pierce  was  born  in  Lebanon,  Conn.,  November 
4th,  1802,  and  was  the  son  of  John  Leverett  and  Apania  (Thomas) 
Pierce.  He  attended  medical  lectures  at  Yale  College  and  began 
practice  in  Plainfield,  Conn.,  later  removing  to  Westerly,  where 
he  was  married  June  1st,  1840,  to  Sarah  A.  Babcock,  a  sister  of 
Edwin  and  Horace  Babcock,  of  Westerly.  He  remained  in  prac- 
tice some  years,  having  his  office  in  the  Krebs  House  on  Main 
street,  and  died  there  February  11th,  1861. 

Doctor  Joseph  H.  Griffin,  the  eldest  son  of  Doctor  Stephen  F. 
Griffin,  having  the  misfortune  to  lose  both  parents  in  his  boy- 
hood, was  apprenticed  by  his  guardian  to  learn  the  hatter's  trade 
under  Jerard  Babcock  of  Stephentown,  N.  Y.  He  remained  sev- 
eral months,  serving  his  employer  faithfully,  yet  longing  all  the 
time  for  an  opportunity  for  greater  educational  advantages. 
After  due  deliberation  on  the  subject  he  decided  to  give  up  the 
business  and  return  to  his  home.  At  the  age  of  eighteen  years 
he  entered  the  office  of   Doctor  Daniel  King  as  a   student  of 

(§^^yi^  'i/t  Q^^^ 


ARTOTYPE,    E.    BIERSTADT,     H.   y. 


medicine.  After  five  years  of  close  application  to  study,  he  en- 
tered Bowdoin  Medical  College,  from  which  he  returned  to  his 
native  town  and  entered  into  partnership  with  Doctor  King.  At 
the  close  of  the  second  year  Doctor  King  retired  from  the  prac- 
tice of  medicine,  leaving  the  business  in  the  hands  of  Doctor 
Griffin.  Doctor  Joseph  H.  Griffin  was  married,  November  3d, 
1834,  to  Miss  Abby  C.  Hoxsie  of  Norwich,  Conn.,  daughter  of  Cap- 
tain Hazard  Hoxsie,  formerly  of  Charlestown,  R.  I.  Three  chil- 
dren were  born  to  them,  one  daughter  and  two  sons.  The  study 
of  medicine  did  not  wholly  engross  his  mind  ;  scientific  subjects, 
enjoyed  only  by  those  who  are  earnest  seekers  after  knowledge, 
had  charms  for  him.  He  was  a  life  long  student,  and  was  often 
heard  to  lament  not  having  had  the  opportunities  the  present 
generation  enjoy  for  acquiring  an  education.  When  in  the 
presence  of  men  of  high  literary  attainments  he  treasured  in  the 
storehouse  of  memory  every  word  falling  from  their  lips,  as 
precious  pearls.  During  a  period  of  twenty-seven  years  he  kept 
a  diary,  noting  all  cases  of  importance  coming  to  him  for  treat- 
ment, symptoms  and  prescriptions  for  each  day,  name  of  patient, 
etc.,  which  he  considered  of  importance,  thereby  keeping  his 
memory  refreshed  and  ready  to  treat  other  cases  of  like  character. 
Having  the  full  confidence  and  esteem  of  the  people,  he  was  ap- 
pointed to  fill  many  positions  of  responsibility  in  the  town.  He 
held  the  office  of  justice  of  the  peace  twenty-five  years  in  succes- 
sion, and  was  also  appointed  Indian  commissioner  by  the  gov- 
ernor of  the  state,  which  office  he  held  for  several  years.  To  him 
belonged  the  honor  of  raising  the  standard  of  the  public  schools 
of  the  town  from  a  very  low  condition  to  one  of  excellence.  After 
serving  four  years  as  a  member  of  the  school  committee,  sixteen 
pupils  were  prepared  as  teachers  from  one  district.  Many  of  the 
young  men  of  that  town  who  have  taken  good  positions  in  life 
said,  "  I  owe  to  Doctor  Griffin  the  first  inspiration  I  received  to 
strive  for  an  education."  A  public  library  was  established  and 
maintained  in  the  town  almost  wholly  by  his  exertions,  no  labor 
being'  considered  too  great  when  the  educational  interests  of  the 
community  demanded  his  services.  He  was  not  physically  strong, 
suffering  for  many  years  from  dyspepsia.  Realizing  that  his  infir- 
mities were  increasing  upon  him  he  decided  to  give  up  his  exten- 
sive business  and  seek  a  field  of  labor  which  afforded  time  for 
rest  much  needed  by  him.  He  moved  to  Westerly  in  May,  186'J, 
still  continuing  to  follow  his  profession. 



In  1876,  becoming  very  much  debilitated,  he  was  advised  to 
change  the  scene  by  traveling.  Accompanied  by  his  wife  he 
visited  California  and  all  cities  of  importance  on  the  route,  de- 
riving great  benefit  from  the. trip,  and  returning  to  his  home 
seemingly  restored  to  usual  health.  Having  a  retentive  memory 
and  fine  conversational  powers,  it  gave  him  great  pleasure  to 
describe  to  his  friends  different  sections  of  the  country  visited 
by  him.  Every  incident  that  occurred,  every  place  visited,  was 
so  distinctly  described  that  the  listener  could  clearly  understand 
the  situation,  having  it  brought,  as  if  by  magic,  distinctly  before 
him.  In  1878,  health  again  failing  him,  he  thought  once  more 
to  change  the  scene.  With  wife  and  daughter  he  visited  Stephen- 
town,  the  early  home  of  his  father,  then  traveled  on  to  Montreal, 
Quebec,  Portland  and  Boston,  remaining  in  each  city  long 
enough  to  visit  all  places  of  interest.  The  trip  was  of  seeming 
benefit  to  him  for  a  few  weeks,  but  the  energies  of  life  gradually 
leaving  him,  it  became  painfully  evident  to  friends  and  family 
that  the  end  was  approaching,  and  he  fully  realized  himself  that 
life  for  him  was  near  its  close.  He  lingered  until  June  27th, 
1879,  retaining  full  possession  of  his  mental  powers  until  death 
released  him  from  all  suffering. 

Doctor  Henry  Aldrich,  of  Wyoming,  son  of  Doctor  John  Al- 
drich,  was  a  physician  of  the  older  school  and  was  widely  known 
throughout  Rhode  Island.  He  was  born  in  the  town  of  Kings- 
town in  1802  and  died  May  8th,  1886.  He  received  his  early  ed- 
ucation in  Rome,  N.  Y.,  and  after  receiving  his  degr'ee  of  M.  D. 
began  the  practice  of  medicine  at  Escoheag  Hill  in  the  town  of 
Exeter,  where  he  speedily  gained  a  lucrative  practice.  After 
about  ten  years  in  this  locality  he  removed  to  what  is  known  as 
the  Ten  Rod  road,  and  there  had  his  home  and  office  in  the  so- 
called  Rathbone  place,  where  he  remained  in  practice  until  he  re- 
moved to  Brands  Iron  Works,  where  he  died  in  1886.  Doctor 
Aldrich  was  a  physician  of  excellent  judgment  and  liberal  learn- 
ing, and  his  practice  extended  far  beyond  the  bounds  of  his 
country  home.  Personally  he  was  affable  and  fond  of  pleasant 

George  Hazard  Church,  M.  D.,  a  physician  of  some  celebrity  in 
Washington  county,  was  born  in  the  town  of  South  Kingstown, 
R.  I.,  in  1798,  and  was  named  by  Doctor  Hazard,  who  gave  him  a 
crown  for  his  name.  Doctor  Church  began  his  medical  studies 
in  Hampton,  Conn.,  and  took  the  degree  of  M.  D.  from  Yale  Col- 




lege,  New  Haven,  in. the  spring  of  1824.  After  his  graduation  he 
settled  in  Wickford  and  began  the  practice  of  medicine,  which 
he  continued  very  successfully  until  his  death,  which  occurred 
January  3d,  1871,  a  period  of  nearly  fifty  years.  His  practice 
was  very  large  and  embraced  a  territory  many  miles  in  extent. 
Besides  discharging  his  professional  duties  as  a  practitioner  of 
medicine.  Doctor  Church  took  a  very  active  part  in  all  public 
spirited  movements.  He  took  a  great  interest  in  the  success  of 
public  schools,  and  for  several  years  was  one  of  the  town  exam- 
ining committee,  and  was  also  one  of  the  trustees.  He  was  iden- 
tified with  the  Baptist  church  and  was  associated  with  it  as  one 
of  the  leading  members  until  his  death.  He  was  town  treasurer 
of  North  Kingstown  for  a  number  of  years,  and  also  a  member 
of  the  state  legislature  for  a  term  of  years.  He  took  an  active  part 
in  the  cause  of  temperance,  and  his  house  was  always  a  welcome 
home  for  nearly  every  minister  and  school  teacher,  as  well  as 
political  and  temperance  lecturer  who  came  to  Wickford.  The 
popularity  of  Doctor  Church  was  in  part  owing  to  the  fact  that 
he  was  always  ready  and  willing  to  aid  and  do  what  he  could  for 
everybody.  In  politics  he  was  a  Jackson  democrat  until  the  re- 
publican party  was  formed,  when  he  pronounced  himself  a  mem- 
ber of  that  organization.  He  was  a  radical  anti-slave  man.  At  the 
breaking  out  of  the  rebellion  Doctor  Church  gave  much  of  his 
time  and  took  an  active  part  in  raising  troops  for  the  army,  ren- 
dering great  service  to  the  government. 

He  was  the  father  of  the  Elm  Grove  Cemetery,  and  had  it  not 
been  for  his  almost  superhuman  efforts  this  beautiful  place  of 
burial  might  not  have  been  secured.  The  question  of  locating 
a  town  cemetery  in  North  Kingstown  had  been  agitated  for  sev- 
eral years  prior  to  1851.  During  this  period  Doctor  Church  was 
indefatigable  in  his  efforts  to  attract  public  attention  to  this  sub- 
ject, a  subject  which  was  emphasized  by  the  neglected  condition 
of  most  of  the  private  burial  places  throughout  the  town.  Robert 
Rodman  and  a  few  others  finally  added  their  influence  to  the 
doctor's  efforts,  and  it  resulted  in  the  organization  and  charter  of 
the  Elm  Grove  Cemetery  Association,  and  the  purchase  of  the 
beautiful  rural  site  now  the  resting  place  of  the  dead  at 

Doctor  Church  was  married  in  1824  to  Miss  Maria  Burnham  of 
Hampton,  Conn.  By  this  union  Doctor  Church  became  the  father 
of  six  children,  namely :  Alphonso,  born  1825 ;  George  H.,  Jr., 


born  1830,  killed  at  Newbern,  N.  C,  March  14tli,  1862,  in  the  war 
of  the  rebellion ;  Charles  H.,  born  in  1833;  Samuel  B.,  in  183;"); 
Maria  B.,  1837,  and  Phebe,  the  youngest  child,  born  in  1839. 
Alphonso  Church  was  educated  as  a  druggist  in  Boston,  and  for 
twenty  years  he  carried  on  the  drug  business  in  the  village  of 
Wickford  until  he  was  succeeded  by  his  brother  Charles  H. 
Church  in  1874.  Charles  H.  Church,  the  proprietor  of  the  drug 
store  at  the  present  time,  was  town  collector  of  taxes,  and  subse- 
quently town  treasurer  of  North  Kingstown,  and  filled  both 
offices  for  a  term  •  of  years.  He  was  married  to  Miss  Hannah 
Stanton  Sweet  in  1861.  She  died  in  1873,  and  left  one  son,  George 
H.  Church,  second,  who  died  in  1882;  also  a  daughter,  Julia  S. 
Church,  now  residing  with  her  grandmother,  J»Irs.  Doctor  George 
H.  Church,  of  Wickford.  The  present  Mrs.  Charles  H.  Church 
is  Anna  E.,  daughter  of  the  late  AVilliam  Page,  of  Glocester, 
Rhode  Island. 

Among  the  physicians  of  this  county  who  saw  active  service 
during  the  war  of  the  rebellion  was  Doctor  William  Torrey 
Thurston,  a  son  of  John  Thurston,  of  Newport,  R.  I.,  and  Mary 
Ann  Bruce,  who  was  born  in  the  West  India  Island  of  St.  Kitts 
July  14th,  1805.  He  was  married  March  15th,  1832,  to  Caroline 
Thurston,  daughter  of  Governor  Jeremiah  Thurston,  of  Hopkin- 
ton,  R.  I.,  and  received  his  medical  education  at  the  University 
of  New  York  where,  under  Doctor  Mott's  preceptorship  he  grad- 
uated in  1829.  Doctor  Thurston's  first  practice  was  at  St.  Kitts, 
later  in  Portland,  Me.,  and  then  he  removed  to  AVesterly.  Oc- 
tober 4th,  1861,  he  enlisted  as  surgeon  of  the  First  Light  Artil- 
lery, joined  the  Army  of  the  Potomac  and  served  under  General 
McClellan.  He  was  in  active  service  throughout  the  Peninsu- 
lar campaign  and  was  present  at  the  battles  of  Seven  Pines,  Five 
Oaks,  Peach  Orchard,  Malvern  Hill  and  at  Savage  Station,  where 
he  was  severely  wounded,  receiving  a  fracture  of  the  skull.  Af- 
ter a  furlough  he  rejoined  the  army  at  the  second  battle  of  Bull 
Run  and  thence  went  with  McClellan  to  South  Mountain,  where 
owing  to  his  wounds  and  the  excessive  fatigue  to  which  he  had 
been  subjected,  he  was  unable  to  continue  and  was  placed  in 
charge  of  the  Federal  Hospital  of  Frederick  City.  Subsequently 
he  was  detailed  to  Portsmouth  Grove  where  he  remained  till  the 
close  of  the  war.  In  187(»  he  was  appointed  superintendent  of 
the  Rhode  Island  Hospital,  which  position  he  held  until  1882, 
when  infirmities  of  age  compelled  him  to  retij-e  from  active  bus- 


iness.  During-  the  later  years  of  his  life  Doctor  Thurston  was 
almost  wholly  deaf  from  the  effects  of  the  wound  received  in 

Doctor  John  B.  Rose,  a  son  of  Thomas  Rose,  and  a  direct  de- 
scendant on  his  mother's  side  from  Doctor  Joshua  Perry,  an  uncle 
of  Commodore  Perr}^,  was  born  at  what  is  known  as  Moorsfield, 
where  he  lived  until  the  death  of  his  father,  when  he  found  a 
home  with  his  grandfather,  John  Rose.  He  attended  school  at 
Kingston,  obtained  a  good  education,  and  at  twenty  began  the 
study  of  medicine  under  Doctor  Peleg  Johnson,  completing  his 
medical  course  by  attending  lectures  in  Boston  under  Doctors 
Biglow  and  Warren,  and  later  took  a  course  of  lectures  in  Provi- 
dence. He  first  began  practice  on  Block  Island,  being  the  only 
physician  there,  but  at  the  end  of  a  year  he  removed  to  Westerly, 
where  he  was  in  successful  practice  for  three  years,  and  then  re- 
moved to  Lebanon,  N.  Y.,  where  he  married,  in  1837,  Julia  A. 
Carter,  a  daughter  of  Judge  Carter,  of  that  state.  In  1848  he  re- 
turned to  South  Kingstown  and  settled  in  Wakefield,  where  he 
practiced  for  over  thirty  years.  In  addition  to  his  skill  as  a 
physician  Doctor  Rose  had  the  reputation  of  being  an  excellent 
surgeon,  and  his  practice  extended  over  the  greater  part  of 
Washington  county.  He  was  a  man  of  wonderful  physical  en- 
durance, and  was  never  deterred  from  attending  a  summons  even 
in  the  most  inclement  weather.  His  manner  in  the  sick  room 
was  cheery  and  comfort  giving. 

Doctor  John  E.  Weeden,  of  Westerly,  was  born  in  South  Kings- 
town, R.  I.,  October  7th,  1807,  and  was  the  son  of  Wager  Weeden 
and  Sarah  (Hull)  Weeden.  Doctor  Weeden  was  married,  No- 
vember 26th,  1833,  to  Eliza  Cross.  Under  the  direction  of  Wil- 
liam Turner,  M.  D.,  of  Newport,  Doctor  Weeden  gained  a  medical 
education  which  was  completed  by  a  course  of  lectures  at  Bowdoin 
College  and  two  courses  at  the  University  of  Pennsylvania,  where 
he  graduated  in  1833.  Doctor  Weeden  commenced  practice  in 
Bristol,  and  later,  in  1835,  moved  to  Westerly,  R.  I.,  and  remained 
in  active  practice  until  1859. 

Of  the  physicians  who  have  practiced  in  Kingston,  no  one  has 
left  a  larger  circle  of  friends  and  a  better  reputation  as  physician 
and  man  than  Doctor  Thomas  Arnold  Hazard,  who  was  born  at 
Jamestown,  R.  I.,  September  30th,  1813,  the  son  of  Arnold  Hazard 
and  Hannah  Watson.  Doctor  Hazard  studied  at  the  Kingston 
Academy  before  beginning  the  study  of  medicine,  and  at  that 


time,  and  during  the  whole  of  his  professional  career,  he  lived 
in  the  family  of  the  late  Philip  Taylor  and  his  son,  John  M.  Tay- 
lor, and  during  the  whole  of  his  professional  life  his  office  was 
in  the  same  building.  He  attended  one  session  of  lectures  at 
Bowdoin  College  and  three  at  the  University  of  Pennsylvania, 
where  he  was  graduated  in  1835,  and  settled  in  Kingston  in  May 
of  the  same  year.  His  death  occurred  after  a  very  short  illness, 
December  8th,  1886.  Doctor  Hazard  was  very  prominent  in  town 
affairs  and  was  town  physician  for  twenty  years,  being  elected 
at  various  times  from  1838  to  1863.  He  was  town  treasurer  dur- 
ing the  difficult  period  of  the  rebellion,  when  his  financial  ability 
saved  the  town  many  hundreds  of  dollars.  He  was  many  years 
member  of  the  school  board  of  trustees  for  the  district  of  Kingston, 
and  a  longtime  trustee  of  the  Sewal  School  Fund,  established  in 
1695,  and  was  director  of  the  Kingston  National  Land-Holders' 
Bank  and  of  the  Kingston  Savings  Bank.  During  the  fifty-one 
years  and  seven  months  in  which  he  was  in  active  practice  he  never 
took  a  vacation  from  work  of  more  than  one  week,  and  that  only 
at  rare  intervals.  His  mother  died  at  the  age  of  ninety-four  years 
when  the  doctor  was  over  seventy-two,  and  her  death  was  a 
severe  blow  to  him,  and  from  it  until  his  death  he  failed  in  a 
marked  degree.  He  was  the  last  of  his  family,  and  with  him 
the  name,  so  far  as  that  branch  is  concerned,  expires.  Of  large 
and  commanding  presence  and  slow  and  confident  speech,  his 
mere  presence  in  the  sick  room  was  a  benefit  and  a  comfort  to 
the  invalid.  His  materia  mcdica  was  not  extensive  but  those 
remedies  which  he  did  use  he  used  skilfully.  Upon  his  death 
it  was  said  of  him,  "  To  each  one  of  a  large  circle  of  friends 
this  loss  seems  personal.  He  was  a  man  of  few  words,  cheerful 
appearance  and  ready  wit.  His  familiar  presence  is  gone,  but 
his  memory  will  long  be  cherished  in  the  public  mind." 

Doctor  William  H.Wilbur  was  born  in  Hopkinton  March  10th, 
1816,  and  was  the  son  of  John  and  Lydia  (Collins)  Wilbur. 
He  received  his  early  education  in  the  public  schools  of  his 
native  town  and  completed  his  academic  course  at  the  Friends' 
school  in  Providence.  He  began  the  study  of  medicine  with 
his  brother.  Doctor  Thomas  Wilbur,  of  Fall  River,  Mass.,  and 
graduated  from  the  University  of  New  York  in  1847.  Doctor 
Wilbur  immediately  went  abroad  to  perfect  his  knowledge  of 
the  particular  form  of  treatment  known  as  the  water  cure,  and 
after  studying  some  time  in  Germany  he  returned  to  this  country 

EDWIN    R.    LEWIS,    M.    D. 

ARTOTVPE,     E.     BIHRSTADT,     N.    ¥. 


and  established  a  water  cure  in  Pawtucket,  which  he  maintained 
for  two  years.  Atignst  20th,  1849,  he  was  married  to  Eliza  S. 
Mann,  daughter  of  Major  T.  S.  and  Eliza  S.  Mann,  by  whom  he 
had  three  children.  Leaving  Pawtucket  he  came  to  Westerly, 
where  he  remained  in  practice  until  1862,  when  he  entered  the 
war  as  surgeon  of  the  First  Rhode  Island  Cavalry.  He  was  with 
his  regiment  at  Chancellorsville  and  Middleburg,  serving  with 
honor  and  distinction,  and  after  the  war  returned  to  Westerly, 
where  he  resided  until  his  death,  which  occurred  October  12th, 
1879.  Of  Doctor  Wilbur's  character  and  life  work  nothing  more 
fitting  can  be  said  than  the  following  tribute  paid  by  a  personal 
friend  after  his  death :  "  At  the  close  of  the  war  Doctor  Wilbur 
resumed  his  practice  in  Westerly,  and  here  after  all  must  be  said 
his  life  work  was  done.  Deeply  absorbed  in  his  profession  and 
having  a  just  estimate  of  its  high  mission,  he  gave  to  it  the  full 
wealth  of  his  knowledge,  his  experience  and  his  life.  He  was 
exact  in  his  habits  of  thought,  methodical  in  his  investigations, 
studious  in  keeping  pace  with  the  progress  made  in  the  science 
of  medicine,  holding  his  opinion  tenaciously  when  matured,  and 
being  thus  critical  and  thorough  in  his  own  culture,  he  was  in- 
tolerant of  pretense  and  sham  in  others.  He  was  too  human  to 
be  faultless,  yet  where  sickness  and  sorrow  dwelt  there  could  his 
ministering  hand  be  felt.  Such  was  the  sympathy  and  tender- 
ness of  his  nature  that  he  allowed  no  pecuniary  considerations  to 
swerve  him  from  what  he  deemed  his  professional  duty.  Holding 
high  rank  as  a  surgeon  as  well  as  a  physician,  he  has  spent  his 
life  in  the  community  responding  to  the  call  for  help  without 
regard  to  the  source  from  which  it  came,  and  by  skill  restoring 
health  and  happiness  to  many  homes." 

Edwin  Ransome  Lewis,  M.  D.,born  in  the  town  of  Hopkinton 
on  the  31st  of  January,  1827,  was  the  son  of  Christopher  and 
Wealthy  (Kenyon)  Lewis.  He  pursued  the  elementary  branches 
of  study  at  the  district  school,  and  then  assisted  his  father  in  the 
work  of  the  farm.  Desiring  to  fit  himself  for  one  of  the  pro- 
fessions, he  chose  that  of  medicine,  and  after  a  period  of  study, 
he  became  a  student  at  the  medical  college  in  Castleton,  Vermont. 
Meanwhile  he  returned  and  sought  employment  as  a  teacher 
that  he  might  defray  the  expenses  attending  a  complete  course  of 
lectures.  From  this  institution  he  was  graduated  in  1850.  Doctor 
Lewis  at  once  began  his  professional  career  at  Niantic,  Rhode 
Island,  remained  one  year  at  this  point,  and  in  1852  removed  to 


Westerly,  where  the  subsequent  years  of  his  life  were  passed. 
Here  he  at  once  established  a  successful  and  growing  practice, 
and  soon  numbered  among  his  patients  many  of  the  leading 
families  of  the  town,  who  welcomed  to  their  homes  not  less  the 
genial  and  kindly  gentleman  than  the  skillful  practitioner.  Doctor 
Lewis's  preparation  for  the  duties  of  his  profession  was  thorough. 
His  mind  was  alert  and  quick  to  discern  the  condition  of  a  pa- 
tient, hence  his  diagnosis  was  rapid  and  equally  correct.  To  his 
native  gifts  was  added  a  mature  knowledge,  broadened  by  careful 
reading  and  large  experience.  His  sympathies  were  warm,  his 
daily  life  full  of  the  gentlest  humanities,  singularly  free  from 
envy,  and  with  an  expansive  charity  that  embraced  all  mankind. 
Thus  his  manhood  was  passed  in  the  practice  of  those  virtues 
which  are  conducive  to  vigor  of  mind  and  body,  and  which, 
united,  form  the  basis  of  a  harmonious  and  beautiful  character. 
He  was  largely  instrumental  in  the  formation  of  the  Washington 
County  Medical  Society,  and  was  chosen  its  first  president. 
Doctor  Lewis,  the  year  of  his  graduation  (1850),  married  Louisa 
A.,  daughter  of  Deacon  Cyrus  W.  Brown,  of  North  Stonington, 
Conn.  Their  children  are  :  Henrietta  L.,  wife  of  Henry  M.  Max- 
son,  of  North  Attleboro,  Mass.;  Edwin  R.,  a  practicing  physician 
in  Westerly,  and  Hannah  B.,  deceased.  The  death  of  Doctor 
Lewis  occurred  June  13th,  1887. 

Doctor  Edwin  Anthony,  son  of  Doctor  Israel  Anthony,  was 
born  at  Usquepaug,  June  9th,  1821,  and  was  married  July  30th, 
1843,  to  Mary  E.  Perkins,  of  South  Kingstown,  by  whom  he  had 
three  children.  His  early  life  was  spent  in  his  native  place,  and 
beginning  the  study  of  medicine  under  his  father  he  graduated 
from  Harvard  Medical  School  in  1842,  and  immediately  began 
a  practice  in  Usquepaug,  which  soon  grew  extensively,  and  by 
reason  of  the  large  territory  over  which  he  was  obliged  to  travel 
became  very  trying.  In  spite  of  the  hard  work  incident  to  the 
pursuit  of  his  profession,  Doctor  Anthony  was  a  close  student, 
and  he  kept  himself  well  posted  on  current  medical  topics.  His 
death  occurred  February  20th,  1869. 

Doctor  Joseph  D.  Kenyon  was  the  son  of  John  Stanton  Kenyon, 
who  resided  in  Sterling,  Conn.  By  his  marriage  to  Hannah 
Wescot  were  seven  sons  and  two  daughter, as  follows:  Joseph  D., 
Peleg,  Oliver  S.,  Stanton  W.,  Stutley,  Alfred,  Sheffield,  Eliza  and 
Penelope,  the  last  named  daughter  having  died  in  early  life. 
Joseph  D.,  the  eldest  of  these  sons,  was  born  September  16th, 


a^sd^^r^  -^  ^ 

,\KlUr'<fE,     E.     [ilEnSTADr, 




1792,  in  sterling,  and  died  in  Hopkinton  on  the  29th  of  June, 
1879.  Thirsting  for  knowledge,  he  left  home  at  the  age  of 
eighteen  to  seek  an  education,  and  at  about  the  age  of  twenty- 
five,  having  taught  at  times,  meanwhile,  to  replenish  an  ex- 
hausted purse,  he  graduated  from  Dartmouth  College,  and  com- 
menced the  study  of  medicine  in  South  Kingstown,  R.  I.  In  that' 
town,  in  Westerly,  and  in  Carlton,  Massachusetts,  were  spent  the 
first  few  years  of  his  remarkably  long  career  as  a  physician. 

Doctor  Kenyon  was  twice  married. .  In  3824  he  was  united  to 
Miss  Frances  W.  Noyes,  who  died  in  1828,  leaving  two  children  : 
Ann  Frances,  who  married  Doctor  Daniel  Lewis,  and  Elizabeth, 
who  died  in  infancy.  In  1829  occurred  his  marriage  to  Miss 
Lydia  R.  Noyes,  whose  children  are  :  Harriet  M.  (Mrs.  Edwin  N. 
Denison),  Sarah  J.  (Mrs.  Thomas  A.  Barber),  Emma  E.,  John  D. 
and  William  H.  For  more  than  sixty  years  Doctor  Kenyon  per- 
formed with  great  success,  and  over  a  broad  range  of  country,  the 
duties  involved  in  his  profession.  He  occupied  a  prominent 
place  as  a  consulting  physician,  and  was  a  welcome  visitor  in 
multitudes  of  homes  where  his  skill  had  inspired  confidence,  and 
his  genial  nature  brought  sunshine  into  rooms  of  sickness  and 
distress.  While  ministering  to  the  bodies  of  those  entrusted  to 
his  care  he  frequently  sought  to  bring  spiritual  ministrations  to 
the  souls  of  the  suffering  ones. 

Doctor  Kenyon  was  "a  true  gentleman,  a  gentleman  of  that 
old  school  of  manners  now  fast  passing  away."  For  several 
years  he  was  a  teacher  in  the  public  schools  of  South  Kingstown, 
and  for  a  long  time  leader  in  the  educational  interests  of  Hop- 
kinton, superintending  the  schools  and  examining  the  teachers. 
He  also  served  his  fellow  citizens  in  the  state  legislature,  and 
was  a  member  of  the  old  state  Board  of  Medical  Examiners,  at 
whose  hands  candidates  for  the  medical  profession  sought  their 
certificates.  He  was  a  devout  Christian,  diligent  in  business, 
fervent  in  spirit,  exemplifying  in  his  daily  life  the  religion  he 

John  Denison  Kenyon,  son  of  the  above,  was  born  in  the  town 
of  Hopkinton  April  1st,  1834,  and  educated  at  the  Westerly 
Academy  and  the  De  Ruyter  Institute,  in  Madison  county.  New 
York.  For  three  years  he  engaged  in  teaching  in  Westerly  and 
Charlestown,  meanwhile  pursuing  the  study  of  medicine  under 
the  preceptorship  of  his  father.  His  course  was  completed  at  the 
Albany  Medical  College,  from  which  he  was  graduated  on  the 


22d  of  December,  1857.  Dr.  Kenyon  returned  to  Hopkinton  and 
became  associated  with  his  father  in  practice,  which  relation  con- 
tinued for  three  years.  Yielding  to  the  urgent  solicitation  of 
many  patients  and  friends  he  then  located  in  Ashaway,  in  the 
same  town,  and  has  since  made  that  the  center  of  his  field  of 
labor.  The  doctor  does  not  confine  his  professional  calls  to  the 
immediate  vicinity  of  his  home,  but  responds  to  demands  for  his 
services  which  occur  in  Westerly  and  points  more  distant.  His 
practice  is  large  and  has  been  from  the  first  successful ;  he  is  at 
present  health  officer  of  the  town,  member  of  the  New  York 
State  ^Medical  Society  and  the  Washington  County  Medical  So- 
ciety. He  has  been  a  director  in  the  Ashaway  National  Bank, 
and  as  a  democrat  wielded  a  considerable  influence  in  local  poli- 
tics, having  been  the  recent  candidate  of  his  party  for  election  to 
the  state  legislature.  He  worships  with  the  Seventh  Day  Baptist 
church,  in  which  Mrs.  Kenyon  holds  membership.  Doctor  Kenyon 
was,  September  8th,  1877,  married  to  Mollie  A.,  daughter  of  Wil- 
liam P.  Langworthy,  of  Alfred  Centre,  New  York.  Their  only 
child  is  a  son,  Harold  D.,  born  December  26th,  1878. 

The  fifth  physician  of  the  Collins  family  and  the  first  to  emerge 
from  the  shadow  of  Hopkinton  and  to  locate  in  another  township 
was  Doctor  Amos  R.  Collins,  son  of  Amos  and  Sarah  Collins,  who 
was  born  at  Westerly,  May  10th,  1837,  and  married  December 
18th,  1861,  to  Helen  P.  Chapin.  Under  the  preceptorship  of 
Doctor  William  H.  Wilbur  he  graduated  from  New  York  Uni- 
versity in  1861.  In  his  early  life  Doctor  Collins  was  tramelled 
by  family  traditions  and  thought  it  necessary  to  begin  practice 
in  Hopkinton,  but  later  he  located  in  Westerly,  where  he  has 
since  been  in  continuous  practice.  During  the  last  three  years, 
in  addition  to  his  professional  work  he  has  been  engaged  in  the 
life  insurance  business.  Doctor  Collins  was  one  of  the  charter 
members  of  the  County  Medical  Society,  and  its  president  from 
1887  to  1888. 

Another  of  the  students  of  Doctor  William  H.  Wilbur,  who 
located  in  this  county  was  Doctor  Albert  A.  Saunders,  the  son  of 
Elisha  and'  Bathsheba  Saunders.  He  was  born  in  Hopkinton 
October  6th,  1833.  His  medical  lectures  were  attended  at  the 
Bufijalo  Medical  College,  where  he  graduated  in  1861.  Begin- 
ning practice  in  Westerly  in  association  with  Doctor  W.  H.  Wil- 
bur, he  soon  went  to  Carolina,  where  he  has  since  been  engaged 
in  a  successful  and  widely  extended  practice.    His  marriage  with 


Martha  G.  Tucker  occurred  March  22d,  1866.  Doctor  Saunders 
is  a  member  of  the  Rhode  Island  Medico-Legal  Society  and  of  the 
state  and  county  medical  societies. 

Samuel  B.  Church,  M.  D.,  of  Wickford,  received  his  education 
in  the  Washington  Academy,  after  which  he  read  medicine  with 
his  father.  He  attended  lectures  at  the  Bellevue  Hospital  Medi- 
cal College,  New  York,  taking  the  degree  of  M.  D.  from  that  in- 
stitution in  1864.  After  graduation  Doctor  Church  settled  in 
Wickford,  where  he  immediately  began  the  practice  of  medicine. 
In  1868  he  formed  a  partnership  with  his  father  and  the  two 
practiced  together  for  two  years,  when  the  elder  Doctor  Church 
retired  almost  wholly  from  the  active  duties  of  his  profession  for 
the  remaining  years  of  his  life,  since  which  time  Doctor  Samuel 
B.  Church  has  continued  the  practice  of  the  profession,  obtaining 
a  good  patronage  in  the  meantime  in  the  village  and  vicinity  of 
his  birth.  Alphonso  Church  married  a  daughter  of  Colonel  An- 
drew Litchfield,  of  Hampton,  Conn.  They  have  two  sons,  Edward 
A.  and  G.  W.  B.  Church  and  one  daughter,  Carrie  M.,  now  Mrs. 
John  W.  Page.  Doctor  S.  B.  Church  married  Miss  Sarah  Boone 
HoUoway  in  1860.  She  died  in  1881,  and  left  one  son,  Samuel  B. 
Church,  Jr.  Doctor  Church  married  for  his  second  wife  Miss 
Julia  B.  D.  Hiorth.  Doctor  Church  is  town  treasurer  of  North 
Kingstown,  and  is  now  in  his  second  term  of  that  office.  Mrs. 
Phebe  F.  Church,  now  the  widow  of  Thomas  F.  Church,  late  of 
Fort  Hamilton,  N.  Y.,  has  two  sons,  James  C.  and  Charles  W. 
Church,  both  attorneys  in  Brooklyn,  N.  Y.  Maria  B.  Church, 
now  Mrs.  Thomas  J.  Hamilton,  resides  in  the  city  of  Provi- 

Doctor  Elisha  P.  Clarke  of  Hope  Valley  was  born  August  17th , 
1833,  in  Westerly,  and  was  the  son  of  Robert  and  Dorcas  Clarke. 
He  was  married,  May  7th,  1859,  to  Nancie  A.  Davis.  Attending 
college  at  Harvard,  and  later  at  the  Maine  Medical  School  under 
the  preceptorship  of  Doctor  Fletcher,  he  graduated  in  1865.  He 
practiced  medicine  in  Milford,  Mass.,  for  a  few  months,  and  then 
entered  the  service,  where  for  twenty  months,  until  the  close  of 
the  war,  he  was  assistant  surgeon  of  the  Thirty-first  Massachu- 
setts Volunteers.  At  the  termination  of  the  war  he  came  to  Hope 
Valley,  where  he  has  since  remained.  Doctor  Clarke  was  elected 
to  the  state  legislature  from  Hopkinton  in  1878,  and  re-elected 
the  following  year.  He  was  president  of  the  County  Medical  So- 
diety  in  1888,  and  was  one  of  its  earliest  members.     He  was  also 


a  member  of  the  State  Medical  Society.  He  has  one  son  who  is 
at  present  pursuing  his  medical  studies  at  Harvard  Medical 

John  A.  Wilcox,  M.  D.,  is  a  grandson  of  John  Wilcox  of  Exeter, 
who  married  Mary  Barber,  whose  death  occurred  in  her  one  hun- 
dred and  second  year.  Among  their  nine  children  was  Abram 
Wilcox,  a  native  of  Exeter,  from  whence  he  removed  to  Con- 
necticut and  became  a  manufacturer  of  cotton  goods.  His  death 
occurred  in  1866.  Mr.  Wilcox  married  Rebecca,  daughter  of 
Benjamin  B.  Sheldon,  of  South  Kingstown.  Their  children  were : 
Benjamin  M.,  John  A.,  Francis  L.,  Eugene,  William,  Mary  and 
Sarah,  all  of  whom,  with  the  exception  of  Francis  L.,  survive. 
John  A.Wilcox,  the  second  son  in  order  of  birth,  is  a  native  of  Gris- 
wold,  Conn.,  where  he  was  born  April  23d,  1847.  Here  his  early 
years  were  spent  in  the  public  schools,  after  which,  for  three 
years,  he  was  engaged  in  mercantile  pursuits  in  South  Kings- 
town. His  tastes,  however,  inclining  toward  a  professional  career, 
he  chose  that  of  medicine,  and  entered  the  ofhce  of  Doctor  H.  L. 
Stillman  as  a  student.  He  attended  lectures  at  the  medical  de- 
partment of  Bowdoin  College,  Maine,  and  graduated  from  that 
institution  in  1872.  Doctor  Wilcox  began  practice  in  the  town 
of  Charlestown,  Washington  county,  and  remained  for  eight 
years  at  this  point,  when  Wakefield  presented  a  larger  and  more 
attractive  field.  Here  he  has  since  resided,  and  by  ability  and 
great  capacity  for  hard  labor,  secured  a  practice  scarcely  second 
to  any  in  southern  Rhode  Island.  Skill  in  diagnosis,  together 
with  sound  judgment,  devoted  attention  to  his  patients  and 
fidelity  to  truth,  characterize  his  professional  record  and  cause 
his  presence  to  be  frequently  desired  in  consultation.  A  demo- 
crat in  politics  and  interested  in  public  measures  and  improve- 
ments, he  has  invariably  declined  office.  He  is  a  director  of  the 
Narragansett  Pier  Electric  Light  Company.  The  doctor  is  an 
active  Mason,  and  member  of  Hope  Lodge,  of  Hope  Valley  Chap- 
ter, and  of  Washington  Commandery  of  Newport.  Doctor  Wilcox 
was  in  1866  married  to  Sarah  A.  Wells,  daughter  of  Amos  Wells 
of  South  Kingstown. 

Doctor  Curtiss  E.  Marryott  was  the  son  of  Reverend  D.  B. 
Maryott,  formerly  a  pastor  of  the  First  Baptist  church  at  Hop- 
kinton.  He  graduated  at  the  University  of  the  City  of  New 
York  in  1866,  and  afterward  practiced  for  five  years  on  Block 
Island,  and  subsequently  for  a  short  time  at  Wakefield,  and  in 

i-t— «- 





Massachusetts.  Later,  in  1884,  he  removed  to  Wakefield,  where 
he  has  since  remained  in  practice. 

Doctor  J.  Howard  Morgan,  located  at  present  at  43  High  street, 
Westerly,  was  born  January  30th,  1844,  at  Pendleton  Hill,  Conn., 
and  is  the  son  of  John  A.  and  Susan  A.  (Pendleton)  Morgan.  He 
is  a  graduate  of  the  University  of  New  York  of  the  class  of  1866, 
and  was  a  student  under  Doctor  W.  H.  Wilbur,  of  Westerly.  Fol- 
lowing his  graduation  Doctor  Morgan  was  from  June,  1868,  to 
April,  1869,  an  interne  in  the  New  York  City  Lunatic  Asylum  and 
from  that  date  to  April,  1870,  in  the  Apoplectic  and  Paralytic  Hos- 
pital. For  nine  years  following  he  was  engaged  in  private  prac- 
tice in  New  York  city,  and  in  November,  1879,  he  removed  to 
Westerly  where  he  has  since  remained.  It  was  while  in  New  York 
that  he  was  married,  October  12th,  1875,  to  Phebe  Anna  Benjamin. 
Doctor  Morgan  served  during  the  civil  war  as  private  in  Company 
B  (Westerly  Rifles),  Ninth  regiment,  Rhode  Island  Volunteers  and 
as  sergeant  in  Company  H,  Connecticut  Volunteers.  Doctor  Mor- 
gan has  been  a  close  student  and  a  voluminous  reader,  and  has 
contributed  several  articles  to  the  medical  press,  notably  a  paper 
published  in  the  Philadelphia  Medical  Times  on  "  Diphtheria. 
Some  cases  bearing  on  its  mode  of  propagation,"  and  "  A  case  of 
Aneurism  of  the  Descending  Aorta  producing  Caries  of  Dorsal 
Vertebrae,"  published  in  the  "Transactions  of  the  Rhode  Island 
Medical  Society,"  Vol.  II,  part  6.  In  1884  he  was  appointed  med- 
ical examiner  for  the  town  of  Westerly,  and  is  a  member  of  the 
Medico-Legal  Society,  the  State  Society  and  one  of  the  founders 
of  the  County  Society.  Doctor  Morgan  has  paid  more  particular 
attention  to  psychological  medicine  and  nervous  diseases.  He 
is  a  pioneer  in  the  use  of  the  bicycle  and  has  used  it  exclusively 
in  his  professional  work  during  the  last  nine  years. 

Doctor  John  Wilbur,  son  of  Doctor  William  H.  and  Eliza  Mann 
Wilbur,  was  born  in  Warwick  September  20th,  1850.  His  early 
education  was  received  in  the  public  schools  of  Westerly,  where 
his  youth  was  spent,  and  was  completed  in  the  Friends'  School 
of  Providence.  His  medical  knowledge  was  gained  in  study  un- 
der the  direction  of  his  father  and  in  attending  the  University 
of  New  York,  where  he  was  graduated  in  1874,  having  during 
his  college  course  served  as  demonstrator  of  anatomy  in  the  Uni- 
versity of  Vermont.  In  1875  he  began  practice  with  his  father, 
and  with  the  exception  of  some  time  spent  abroad  he  continued 
in  practice  until  1881,  when  he  sold  his  business  to  Doctor  H.  J. 


Pomroy  and  began  to  travel  about  the  country  delivering  so- 
called  popular  lectures  and  administering  to  the  ailments  of  his 
hearers,  in  which  remunerative  but  unprofessional  career  he  is 
still  engaged. 

Doctor  John  Hill  Merrill  was  the  son  of  Henry  A.  Merrill,  a 
Congregationalist  minister  and  in  early  life  a  student  under 
Daniel  Webster,  and  was  born  in  Norway,  Me.,  in  January,  1834. 
His  mother  was  Abigail  Russell,  whose  marriage  with  Henry  A. 
Merrill  occurred  on  June  12th,  1823.  After  attending  the  public 
schools  of  his  native  place,  Doctor  Merrill  began  his  medical  ed- 
ucation with  a  course  of  lectures  at  Harvard  and  graduated  from 
the  Albany  Medical  school  in  1858.  He  immediately  came  to 
Westerly  to  assist  Doctor  William  H.  Wilbur,  but  three  years 
later  moved  to  Potter  Hill.  May  6th,  1860,  he  was  married  to 
Mary  Anna  Babcock,  daughter  of  Daniel  and  Anna  Alma  Bab- 
cock.  In  1862  Doctor  Merrill  enlisted  as  a  private  in  the  Rhode 
Island  Light  Artillery,  Battery  H.  Upon  reaching  the  seat  of 
war  he  was  speedily  promoted  to  assistant  surgeon  and  finally  to 
surgeon-in-chief  of  the  Artillery  Brigade  of  the  Second  Army 
Corps.  Vicissitudes  of  army  life  overpowered  his  health,  and 
Doctor  Merrill  was  forced  to  resign  from  active  service  in  April 
before  the  war  closed.  Since  that  time,  although  an  invalid  and 
many  times  unfit  for  work,  he  has  been  in  continual  practice  at 
Potter  Hill.     He  has  one  son,  John  Jake  Merrill. 

Of  the  physicians  who  have  recently  died.  Doctor  Henry  New- 
ton Crandall  was  associated  in  a  great  degree  with  the  later 
growth  and  prosperity  of  Westerly.  He  was  born  in  De  Ruyter, 
N.  Y.,  July  13th,  1848,  and  was  the  son  of  J.  Clark  and  M.  Sa- 
mantha  Crandall.  His  early  life  was  spent  upon  the  farm  where 
he  gained  the  advantages  of  an  education  afforded  by  the  public 
schools.  Later  he  pursued  an  academic  course  at  De  Ruyter  In- 
stitute, and  upon  his  graduation  began  studying  medicine  under 
Doctor  Ira  Spencer,  graduating  from  the  Jefferson  Medical  Col- 
lege in  1871.  Following  six  months  hospital  practice  in  Phila- 
delphia he  came  to  Stonington,  Conn.,  where  he  was  for  a  while 
assistant  to  the  late  Doctor  William  Hyde.  In  1875  he  came  to 
Westerly,  where  he  remained  in  continuous  practice  until  his 
death,  which  occurred  May  31st,  1888.  Doctor  Crandall  married 
Clara  Day  Lewis,  of  Stonington,  March  5th,  1872,  by  whom  he 
had  four  children,  one  having  died  in  infancy.     Doctor  Crandall 


was  largely  interested  in  the  beneficiary  insurance  societies  of 
Westerly,  was  a  stockholder  in  the  Westerly  Water  Works,  and 
during-  his  last  years  of  life  had  been  interested  somewhat  in 
real  estate  ventures,  having  built  several  large  tenement  houses, 
notably  one  for  six  families,  known  as  Newton  Flats,  the  first 
house  of  the  kind  ever  built  in  Westerly.  He  was  a  member  of 
the  State  and  County  Societies. 

Doctor  George  C.  Bailey,  of  Westerly,  was  born  in  Northamp- 
ton, England,  in  1842,  and  is  the  son  of  Samuel  and  Mary  Bailey. 
Coming  to  this  country  in  early  life.  Doctor  Bailey's  youth  was 
spent  in  New  York  state.  He  was  married  in  April,  1868,  to  La- 
vantia  Case,  by  whom  he  has  one  child.  Doctor  Bailey  attended 
the  University  Medical  College  of  New  York  and  later  the  Long 
Island  Hospital  Medical  College,  and  direct  from  college  enlisted 
and  served  during  the  war  as  assistant  surgeon  in  the  Eighty- 
ninth  regiment  of  New  York  Volunteers.  After  leaving  the 
service  he  began  private  practice  in  Ashtabula,  Ohio,  and  later 
practiced  in  New  York  state,  coming  to  Westerly  in  1874. 

Doctor  Alexander  B.  Briggs,  of  Ashaway,  is  the  son  of  Alex- 
ander and  Mary  (Burdick)  Briggs  and  was  born  at  Hopkinton, 
November  14th,  1850.  His  medical  studies  were  prosecuted  un- 
der the  direction  of  Doctor  J.  H.  Merrill,  of  Potter  Hill,  and  he 
attended  lectures  at  Harvard,  where  he  graduated  in  1872,  at 
once  beginning  active  practice  in  Ashaway.  After  his  marriage. 
May  18th,  1874,  to  Ella  M.  Wells,  the  daughter  of  Dennison  and 
Teresa  (Green)  Wells,  he  removed  to  Westerly,  but  after  one 
year's  work  he  returned  to  Ashaway  where  he  now  is.  Doctor 
Briggs  is  a  member  of  the  State  and  County  Societies  and  the 
Medico-Legal  Society,  and  is  the  medical  examiner  for  the  town 
of  Hopkinton.  In  1887  he  engaged  in  politics  and  was  elected 
to  the  legislature.  He  was  again  elected  in  1888  where  he  has 
taken  a  prominent  part  in  the  affairs  of  state  as  member  of  the 
committee  on  Special  Legislation  and  the  committee  on  Public 
Health.     Doctor  Briggs  has  four  children. 

There  have  been  at  various  times  a  number  of  physicians  who 
have  made  their  homes  at  Narragansett  Pier  during  the  summer 
months.  Among  these,  Doctor  Charles  Hitchcock  practices  in 
that  place  from  May  to  October,  during  the  other  months  of  the 
year  in  New  York  city.  He  was  born  in  Providence  and  was  the 
son  of  Charles  and  Olivia  Hitchcock,  and  was  married  to  Frances 


Lapsley  November  27th,  1872.  He  is  a  graduate  of  the  College 
of  Physicians  and  Surgeons  of  the  class  of  1872  and  was  a  pupil 
of  Doctor  H.  B.  Sands. 

Doctor  Etta  Payne  was  the  first  woman  who,  as  a  regular  gradu- 
ate of  a  recognized  medical  college,  practiced  medicine  in  the 
county,  and  she  lived  in  Westerly  for  a  short  time  about  1870. 

In  1872  Doctor  Lucy  Almy  Babcock,  a  native  of  the  county, 
tried  and  settled  the  mooted  question,  in  so  far  as  she  was  con- 
cerned, of  woman's  availability  for  the  medical  profession.  She 
was  the  daughter  of  Oliver  and  Phebe  Babcock,  and  was  born  at 
Potter  Hill  September  17th,  1834.  She  studied  medicine  under 
Doctor  Amos  R.  Collins  and  her  sister.  Doctor  P.  J.  B.  Waite,  of 
New  York,  and  graduated  from  the  New  York  Homeopathic  Col- 
lege and  Hospital  for  Women  in  1873.  She  immediately  settled 
in  Westerly,  where  she  has  remained  until  recently,  when  poor 
health  caused  her  to  retire  from  active  practice. 

Doctor  John  E.  Perry,  of  Wakefield,  was  born  in  that  town 
May  28th,  1847.  He  attended  the  public  schools  there  and  later 
graduated  from  the  Connecticut  Literary  Institution  at  Suffield, 
Conn.,  in  1867.  He  studied  medicine  with  Doctor  George  E. 
Mason  of  Providence,  and  attended  for  a  time  Yale  College,  sub- 
sequently graduating  from  the  College  of  Physicians  and  Sur- 
geons in  1873.  He  immediately  settled  in  Wakefield,  where  he 
has  since  remained.  He  has  been  for  several  years  town  physi- 
cian of  South  Kingstown  and  district  physician  for  the  District 
of  Narragansett.     He  is  a  member  of  the  state  society. 

Doctor  S.  Oscar  Myers  was  born  at  Barnerville,  Schoharie 
county,  N.  Y.,  April  30th,  1847,  and  is  the  son  of  Peter  and  Fanny 
Myers.  He  gained  his  medical  education  at  the  medical  depart- 
ment of  Union  University,  Albany,  N.  Y.,  and  graduated  from 
that  institution  in  1874.  Doctor  Myers  first  located  in  Bay  Ridge, 
L.  I.,  then  very  sparsely  settled  and  waited  for  the  city  to  grow; 
but  it  was  not  apparently  a  fertile  community,  and  in  1879  he  re- 
moved to  Wickford,  where  he  has  since  been  in  successful  prac- 
tice. He  was  married  April  30th,  1879,  to  Jessie  E.  Blair.  Doctor 
Myers  has  been  prominent  in  town  matters  and  has  been  for 
some  years  town  treasurer  of  North  Kingstown  as  well  as  the 
superintendent  of  schools,  and  is  the  medical  examiner  for  the 
Fourth  District.  Doctor  Myers  is  also  prominent  in  church 
affairs,  and  is  one  of  the  vestrymen  of  the  Episcopal  church  in 


Wickford.  He  is  a  member  of  the  Rhode  Island  State  vSociety, 
the  Medico-Legal  Society,  American  Medical  Association  and  the 
Washington  County  Medical  Society.  As  his  practice  has  in- 
creased Doctor  Myers  has  paid  more  special  attention  to  Gyne- 

Doctor  James  Noyes  Lewis  is  the  son  of  Doctor  Daniel  Lewis, 
who  for  some  time  practiced  medicine  in  Hopkinton,  and  Ann 
F.  Kenyon.  He  was  born  in  Stonington,  Conn.,  October  30th, 
1849.  Doctor  Lewis  is  descended  on  his  mother's  side  from  Doc- 
tor Noyes,  the  first  physician  to  practice  medicine  in  the  county. 
He  was  married,  November  28th,  1876,  to  Lois  Clark.  Studying 
medicine  under  the  preceptorship  of  Doctor  John  D.  Kenyon,  he 
graduated  at  the  College  of  Physicians  and  Surgeons  in  1874, 
since  which  time  he  has  practiced  in  Wyoming,  R.  I.,  Killingly, 
Conn.,  and  Ashaway,  R.  I.  He  is  a  member  of  the  County 

Henry  William  Rose,  M.  D.,  is  the  eldest  son  of  William  and 
Theresa  Rose,  who  emigrated  from  Prussia  to  the  United  States 
and  settled  in  JvTew  York.  Their  children  were  one  son,  the  sub- 
ject of  this  biography,  and  three  daughters — Theresa,  Mary  and 
Delia.  Henry  William  Rose  was  born  in  New  York  on  the  13th 
of  April,  1849,  and  was  educated  in  the  public  schools  of  the  city. 
At  the  age  of  fourteen  he  entered  a  drug  store,  became  thor- 
oughly conversant  with  the  compounding  of  medicines,  and  con- 
tinued thus  engaged  until  1867.  Having  a  strong  predilection 
for  the  medical  profession,  he  began  his  studies  under  Doctor 
Herman  Baalon,  and  at  the  same  time  entered  the  Bellevue 
Hospital  Medical  College  as  assistant  in  the  Out-Door  Poor  De- 
partment. Subsequently  accepting  a  position  as  apothecary  in 
the  Infants'  Hospital  of  Ward's  Island,  he  acted  in  that  capacity 
until  the  resumption  of  his  former  business,  that  of  druggist, 
one  and  a  half  years  later.  Establishing  the  firm  of  Jones  &  Rose, 
he  continued  until  1872  to  be  interested  in  two  stores  in  Brooklyn. 
He  graduated  in  1876  from  the  Homeopathic  Medical  College  in 
New  York  city,  and  was  for  six  years  engaged  in  practice  in 
Brooklyn,  E.  D.  From  its  infancy  Doctor  Rose  was  interested 
in  the  Brooklyn,  E.  D.,  Dispensary,  of  which  he  is  a  life  member, 
and  was  later  made  its  superintendent  with  a  staff  of  fourteen 
physicians  under  his  immediate  supervision.  He  was  also  con- 
nected with  the  Kings  County  Medical  Society.  In  the  fall  of 
1878  Doctor  Rose  removed  to  Westerly,  having  succeeded  to  the 


practice  left  vacant  by  tlie  decease  of  Doctor  L.  A.  Palmer.  His 
careful  study  of  the  science  of  medicine,  and  the  wide  hospital 
experience  he  enjoyed  in  New  York  city,  enabled  him  not  only 
to  hold  the  practice  of  his  predecessor,  but  to  materially  increase  it. 
It  is  chiefly  confined  to  the  village  of  Westerly,  and  while  not  in 
any  sense  a  specialist,  the  doctor  has  given  much  attention  to 
diseases  of  women  and  children.  He  was  appointed  by  the  gov- 
ernor a  member  of  the  state  board  of  health,  and  was  active  in 
establishing  the  department  of  health  for  the  town  of  Westerly, 
of  which  he  is  the  present  superintendent.  He  was  also  surgeon 
to  the  Third  Battalion  Rhode  Island  Militia  until  the  disbanding 
of  that  organization.  He  is  a  member  of  the  Rhode  Island 
Homeopathic  Medical  Society.  Doctor  Rose  is  an  active  re- 
publican in  politics,  but  has  never  desired  office.  He  is  a  member 
of  the  American  Public  Health  Association  and  the  American 
Institute  of  Homeopathy.  He  is  connected  with  the  Masonic 
fraternity  and  orders  of  a  similar  character.  He  is  also  a  mem- 
ber of  Christ's  Protestant  Episcopal  church  of  Westerly.  Doctor 
Rose  was,  on  the  5th  of  December,  1872,  married  to  Josephine, 
daughter  of  Benjamin  and  Caroline  (Furnald)  Armstrong  of 
Brooklyn.  Their  children  are  two  daughters,  Mabel  and  Jose- 

Doctor  George  H.  Beebe  was  the  son  of  J.  F.  Beebe  and  Sarah 
(Whitter)  Beebe,  and  was  born  February  1st,  1855.  He  was  mar- 
ried to  Mary  E.  Lewis  April  29th,  1879,  having  completed  his 
education  and  graduated  in  medicine  from  the  University  of 
New  York  in  1878.  He  first  practiced  in  Pontiac,  111.,  then  in 
Charlestown,  R.  I.,  and  later  removed  to  Guilford,  Conn.,  where 
he  now  is.  While  residing  in  the  county  Doctor  Beebe  was  a 
member  of  the  County  Society. 

Doctor  Alvin  H.  Eccleston  is  the  son  of  Alvin  H.  and  Harriet 
(Brockton)  Eccleston,  and  was  born  in  Stonington,  Conn.,  April 
28th,  1858.  He  graduated  in  medicine  from  the  Albany  Medical 
College  in  1880,  and  the  same  year  began  practice  in  Charles- 
town.  Doctor  Eccleston  was  married  December  28th,  1879,  to 
Jennie  A.  Taylor.  In  1883  he  removed  to  Wood  River  Junction 
and  has  since  remained  in  that  locality,  although  in  the  interval 
his  office  has  been  removed  to  Plainville.  He  has  been  a  mem- 
ber of  the  town  council  since  1886,  and  like  Doctor  Briggs,  hun- 
gering for  the  strife  of  political  life,  he  was  elected  to  the  legis- 
lature in  1888.     Doctor  Eccleston  is  also  a  member  of  the  town 


school  committee  and  superintendent  of  health,  and  is  one  of  the 
surgeons  of  the  N.  Y.,  P.  &  B.  R.  R.  He  is  a  member  of  the  State 
and  County  Medical  Societies. 

Doctor  George  Vickery  Foster,  the  son  of  George  and  Clara 
Foster,  was  born  in  Flushing,  L.  I.,  in  1855,  was  married,  in  1880, 
to  Anna  C.  Browning,  and  in  1881  graduated  in  medicine,  after 
attending  lectures  at  the  College  of  Physicians  and  Surgeons,  at 
Dartmouth  Medical  School.  He  began  practice  in  Westerly  and 
remained  there  till  1885,  when  he  removed  to  New  York  city, 
and  has  since  then  had  his  office  in  the  Florence  House,  109  East 
Eighteenth  street.  Doctor  Foster  was  one  of  the  founders  of 
the  Washington  Medical  Society,  and  is  now  a  member  of  the 
New  York  State  Medical  Association,  New  York  County  Medical 
Association  and  Rhode  Island  Medical  Society.  He  has  spent 
some  time  abroad  engaged  in  study. 

Doctor  George  F.  Bliven,  the  son  of  George  W.  and  Harriet  E. 
Bliven,  was  born  January  17th,  1857.  Doctor  Bliven  received 
his  medical  education  at  the  University  of  New  York,  where, 
under  the  preceptorship  of  Doctor  H.  N.  Crandall,  he  graduated 
in  1881.  He  did  not  practice  medicine  long,  and  after  some  time 
in  association  with  Doctor  J.  H.  Morgan,  of  Westerly,  he  entered 
the  office  of  Spencer  Trask  &  Co.,  of  Providence,  R.  I.,  and  is 
now  cashier  in  that  bank. 

Doctor  Edward  E.  Kenyon,  the  son  of  Alfred  and  Susan  M. 
Kenyon,  was  born  in  Richmond,  R.  I.,  September  28th,  1859. 
From  his  academic  course  in  the  schools  of  his  native  place  he 
began  the  study  of  medicine  with  Doctor  H.  L.  Stone  and  gradu- 
ated in  1880  with  honors  in  one  of  the  largest  classes  which  ever 
passed  from  the  University  of  Vermont.  It  was  during  his  col- 
lege course  that  Doctor  Kenyon  was  married  to  Ida  May  Ca- 
hoone,  September  28th,  1879,  taking  advantage  of  the  chance 
that  occurs  but  once  in  a  man's  life  time,  that  of  getting  married 
on  his  twentieth  birthday.  After  his  graduation  he  began  prac- 
tice in  Wyoming,  R.  I.,  and  after  a  stay  of  two  years  removed 
to  Usquepaug,  where  he  is  now  residing.  Doctor  Kenyon  is  a 
member  of  the  County  Medical  Society. 

Doctor  Herbert  J.  Pomroy  was  born  April  7th,  1856,  in  Lincoln, 
Me.,  and  is  the  son  of  Gorham  P.  Pomroy,  of  Providence,  R.  I., 
and  Abbie  A.  J.  Gardner.  The  early  education  of  Doctor  Pomroy 
was  gained  in  the  public  schools  of  the  city  of  Providence,  gradu- 
ating from  the  high  school,  and  later  attending  Mowry  &  Goff's 


school  of  that  city  he  spent  a  year  in  preparatory  work,  and  im- 
mediately began  the  study  of  medicine  at  the  Harvard  Medical 
School,  where  he  graduated  in  1880.  Following  his  graduation 
he  served  as  interne  in  the  Boston  City  Hospital  for  one  year 
and  then  came  to  Westerly,  assuming  the  practice  until  that  time 
held  by  Doctor  John  Wilbur,  who  was  removing  from  the  state 
and  giving  up  practice.  Doctor  Pomroy  immediately  entered 
into  an  exceedingly  active  and  successful  practice,  in  which  he 
persisted  until  the  death  of  his  child,  which  occurred  March  27th, 
1885,  when  he  went  to  the  State  Insane  Asylum  at  Cranston  as 
deputy  superintendent.  The  work  here,  however,  proved  irksome, 
and  later  he  removed  to  Brooklyn,  N.  Y.,  where  he  practiced  a 
year  and  then  returned  to  Westerly,  where  he  has  been  since  in 
practice.  He  was  married  July  6th,  1881,  to  Mary  T.  Moore, 
daughter  of  Silas  and  Annie  Moore,  of  Providence,  and  had  one 
child  who  died  from  scarlet  fever  during  the  epidemic  of  that 
disease  in  Westerly  in  1885.  Doctor  Pomroy  is  an  active  mem- 
ber of  the  County  Medical  Society,  of  which  he  is  at  present 
president,  and  of  the  State  Medical  Society,  and  is  also  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Kings  County  Medical  Society  of  New  York.  As  a 
surgeon  and  as  a  specialist  of  nervous  diseases  Doctor  Pomroy 
has  gained  an  enviable  reputation. 

Frederick  T.  Rogers,  M.  D.,  on  the  paternal  side  is  the  great- 
grandson  of  David  Rogers  of  New  London,  Conn.  A  son  of  the 
latter,  David  P.  Rogers,  in  early  life  a  fisherman,  later  engaged 
in  farming  in  the  same  county.  By  his  marriage  to  Mary  Ann 
Rogers  were  born  a  son,  William  A.  Rogers,  and  a  daughter, 
Julia,  who  became  the  wife  of  George  H.  Powers  of  New  London. 
William  A.  Rogers  was  born  in  1832,  and  graduated  from  Brown 
University  in  1857.  He  took  special  courses  in  both  Yale  and 
Harvard  Universities,  being  for  several  years  professor  of  as- 
tronomy in  the  latter  institution.  In  1886  he  accepted  an  ap- 
pointment as  one  of  the  faculty  of  Colby  University  in  Maine. 
He  received  the  honorary  degree  of  A.  M.  from  Yale  University 
and  of  Ph.  D.  from  Alfred  University,  where  he  had  previously 
filled  a  professor's  chair.  He  has  been  honored  by  membership 
in  many  of  the  most  prominent  scientific  societies  of  America 
and  Europe,  and  published  more  than  forty  monographs  on 
scientific  subjects.  Professor  Rogers  married  Rebecca,  daughter 
of  Isaac  D.  Titsworth,  of  Plainfield,  New  Jersey.  Their  children 
are :  Frederick  T.,  Arthur  K.  and  Allerton,  the  last  named  son 
having  died  in  early  youth. 


Frederick  Titsworth  Rogers  was  born  at  Alfred  Centre,  N.  Y., 
March  13th,  1859,  and  in  1869  removed  to  New  Haven,  where  he 
remained  one  year,  and  has  since  that  date  been  a  resident  of 
Westerly.  After  a  preliminary  course  at  the  public  schools,  he 
continued  his  preparatory  studies  at  a  private  school  in  Provi- 
dence, and  in  1876  entered  Union  College,  Schenectady,  N.  Y., 
from  which  institution  he  was  graduated  in  June,  1880,  with  the 
highest  honors.  Determining  upon  the  study  of  medicine,  he, 
during  the  last  two  years,  attended  lectures  and  clinics  at  the 
Albany  Medical  College,  and  entering  the  Medical  College  of  the 
University  of  New  York,  graduated  in  March,  1882,  being 
awarded  the  first  honor  in  a  class  of  two  hundred  and  sixty-eight. 
The  doctor  at  once  began  his  professional  career  in  Westerly, 
where  he  has  since  resided.  Here  he  very  soon  established  a 
practice  which  has  grown  steadily  in  dimensions  and  been  cor- 
respondingly successful  in  its  results.  Though  not  in  any  sense 
a  specialist,  he  has  given  much  study  and  attention  to  diseases 
of  the  eye  and  ear.  He  is  a  member  of  the  Rhode  Island  Medical 
Society  and  secretary  of  the  Washington  County  Medical  So- 
ciety, which  he  was  largely  instrumental  in  founding.  His  re- 
ligious views  are  in  harmony  with  the  creed  of  the  Seventh  Day 
Baptist  church,  of  which  he  is  a  member.  In  politics  he  endorses 
the  platform  and  principles  of  the  republican  party,  is  president 
of  the  Young  Men's  Republican  Club  of  Westerly,  and  was  dele- 
gate-at-large  to  the  Republican  National  Convention  at  Chicago 
in  1888.  Doctor  Rogers  was,  on  the  15th  day  of  November,  1882, 
married  to  Carrie  E.,  daughter  of  Henry  B.  Gavitt,  of  Westerly. 
Their  children  are  two  sons,  Robert  Landon  and  Frederick 

Doctor  Henry  Kelby  Gardner  was  born  at  Pawtucket,  R.  I., 
April  27th,  1857,  and  is  the  son  of  John  and  Ellen  Gardner  of 
that  place.  He  was  married  April  27th,  1882,  to  Mary  Penn  Case. 
He  graduated  from  the  University  of  the  State  of  New  York  in 
1881,  having  previously  attended  lectures  at  Bowdoin  and  Dart- 
mouth under  the  preceptorship  of  Doctor  George  D.  Hersey,  of 
Providence.  Following  his  graduation  he  practiced  for  some 
time  in  Providence,  later  in  Charlestown,  R.  I.,  and  has  recently 
removed  to  Wakefield,  where  he  now  is.  Doctor  Gardner  is  a 
member  of  the  State  Medico-Legal  Society  and  of  the  County 

Doctor  Philip  Kittredge  Taylor,  the  son  of  John  Nichols  Taylor 


and  Kate  Kittredge,  was  born  at  Kingston,  April  28th,  1860. 
Doctor  Taylor  received  his  early  education  in  his  native  place, 
later  at  Mowry  &  Goff's  private  school  in  Providence,  where  he 
was  a  fellow  student  with  Doctors  H.  J.  Pomroy  and  F.  T.  Rogers 
of  Westerly,  and  attended  lectures  at  the  University  of  Pennsyl- 
vania, whence  he  graduated  in  1882  with  Doctor  Thomas  Arnold 
Hazard  as  his  preceptor.  From  April,  1882,  to  August  1886,  he 
practiced  medicine  in  his  native  place,  then  removed  to  Wake- 
field, where  he  has  since  resided,  covering  in  the  two  locations  the 
town  of  South  Kingstown  and  part  of  North  Kingstown,  Exeter 
and  Richmond.  While  in  Kingston  he  was  in  partnership  with 
Doctor  Thomas  A.  Hazard,  which  partnership  lasted  until  the 
death  of  the  latter.  Doctor  Taylor's  maternal  grandfather  and 
great-grandfather  were  physicians  of  considerable  repute,  and 
from  the  early  history  of  Massachusetts  and  New  Hampshire, 
where  they  resided,  it  is  learned  that  many  of  the  name  of  Kit- 
tredge  were  known  as  successful  physicians  and  surgeons,  so  that 
on  his  maternal  side,  like  Doctor  James  N.  Lewis,  of  Ashaway, 
his  ancestry  for  several  generations  have  been  students  of  medi- 
cine. In  spite  of  physical  infirmity,  due  to  lameness  from  infla- 
mation  of  the  knee  joint,  which  for  a  long  time  confined  Doctor 
Taylor  to  the  house,  and  for  a  longer  time  compelled  him  to 
walk  with  the  aid  of  crutches,  he  has  engaged  in  an  active  and 
extended  practice,  and  is  now  from  his  persistent  effort  able  to 
walk  somewhat  without  crutches  or  cane.  He  is  the  medical  ex- 
aminer for  District  No.  2,  which  position  he  has  held  since  April 
1st,  1884.  He  is  a  member  of  the  State  and  Medico-Legal  Society, 
the  New  York  Medico-Legal  Society  and  the  County  Society.  He 
is  unmarried. 

Doctor  William  J.  Ryan,  at  present  located  at  69  Main  street, 
Worcester,  Mass.,  was  for  one  year  after  graduation  from  the 
University  of  Vermont  in  1885  a  practitioner  of  Westerly.  He 
was  born  January  6th,  1863,  and  is  the  son  of  William  and  Eliza- 
beth (Fitzgerald)  Ryan.  During  the  year  of  his  residence  in 
Westerly  Doctor  Ryan  made  many  friends,  and  will  long  be 
remembered  by  his  fellow  practitioners  as  an  able  and  studious 
physician,  as  well  as  a  jolly  and  genial  companion,  ever  ready  for 
joke,  yet  withal  at  the  service  of  any  who  might  need  his  pro- 
fessional attention.  '  Doctor  Ryan  has  never  married,  and  in 
response  to  such  an  inquiry  responds  with  characteristic  frank- 
ness and  old  time  jovialty,  ''Ego  nou  sinitjunctus." 


Doctor  Lorin  F.  Wood,  the  son  of  William  Wood,  of  Medway, 
Mass.,  was  born  October  lOth,  1852.  Commencing  the  study  of 
medicine  under  the  direction  of  Doctor  O.  M.  Barber  of  Mystic, 
he  attended  lectures  at  the  New  York  Homeopathic  Medical  Col- 
lege, where  he  graduated  in  1879.  He  was  married  July  20th, 
1875,  to  Abbie  E.  Bugbee.  After  his  graduation  he  served  a  year 
and  a  half  as  assistant  physician  at  the  New  York  Homeopathic 
Medical  Hospital,  and  later,  nine  months  as  assistant  physician  at 
the  New  York  Opthalmic  Hospital.  Immediately  after  his  hos- 
pital experience  he  removed  to  East  Hampton,  Conn.,  where  he 
engaged  in  practice  until  January,  1887;  when  he  removed  to 
Westerly  and  associated  himself  with  Doctor  H.  W.  Rose  of  that 
place.  The  partnership  lasted  until  1888,  when  it  was  dissolved, 
each  continuing  in  private  practice  alone.  While  in  Connecticut 
Doctor  Wood  was  a  member  of  the  Connecticut  Homeopathic 
Medical  Society. 

Doctor  William  James  of  Westerly  was  born  in  Voluntown, 
New  London  county.  Conn.,  June  31st,  1860,  and  is  the  son  of 
Charles  and  Bridget  James.  His  early  life  was  spent  in  Norwich, 
and  for  a  long  time  he  was  in  the  office  of  that  famous  practi- 
tioner of  that  city.  Doctor  Patrick  Cassidy,  after  which  he  at- 
tended the  University  of  Vermont  and  graduated  in  1886,  and 
immediately  began  practice  in  Westerly.  For  the  first  two  years 
of  his  residence  in  Westerly  Doctor  James  had  his  office  upon 
the  Connecticut  side  of  the  river  and  has  only  lately  become  a 
full  fledged  citizen  of  the  county,  having  removed  his  office  to 
45  High  street.  He  is  a  member  of  the  County  Medical  Society 
and  is  as  yet  unmarried. 

Doctor  John  Champlin,  No.  1  Granite  street,  Westerly,  was 
born  October  5th, .1863,  in  Westerly,  and  is  the  son  of  Samuel  A. 
and  Mary  B.  Champlin.  Graduating  from  the  High  School  of 
Westerly,  in  1881,  Doctor  Champlin  attended  and  graduated 
from  Alfred  University,  Alfred  Centre,  N.  Y.  In  1883  he  taught 
the  public  school  in  district  No.  10  for  a  year  while  pursuing 
his  medical  studies  under  Doctor  F.  T.  Rogers,  of  Westerly,  and 
in  1884  he  went  to  the  University  of  the  City  of  New  York,  where 
he  graduated  in  1886.  Doctor  Champlin  immediately  entered  as 
interne  in  the  Rhode  Island  Hospital,  of  Providence,  R.  I.,  where 
he  was  house  surgeon  for  ten  months,  which,  by  the  way,  was  a 
longer  term  of  service  than  any  previous  officer  had  held,  and 
house  physician  for  four  months.     May  1st,  1887,  he  came  to 


Westerly  and  opened  an  ofl&ce  in  his  father's  house,  and  has  since 
remained  in  practice  in  that  town.  Doctor  Champlin  has  paid 
especial  attention  to  surgery.  He  is  a  member  of  the  State  and 
County  Medical  Societies. 

Doctor  Edwin  R.  Lewis,  the  son  of  Doctor  Edwin  Ransome 
Lewis  and  Louisa  B.  Lewis,  was  born  in  AVesterly  June  5th,  1865. 
Doctor  Lewis'  early  education  was  gained  in  the  public  schools 
of  Westerly,  and  from  Mowry  &  Goff's  school  in  Providence  he 
went  to  the  Harvard  Medical  School,  where,  after  a  four  years' 
course  he  graduated  in  1886.  Immediately  upon  the  death  of 
his  father  he  came  to  AVesterly  and  assumed  the  practice  which 
he  had  left,  and  has  since  remained  in  the  same  location.  From 
his  college  and  hospital  experience  Doctor  Lewis  has  paid  par- 
ticular attention  to  diseases  of  the  skin.  He  is  a  member  of  the 
Massachusetts  State  Society  and  of  the  County  Medical  Society. 

Aside  from  the  foregoing  physicians,  concerning  the  lives  of 
whom  the  author  has  been  able  to  gain  more  or  less  definite  data, 
there  have  been  at  different  times  other  practitioners  of  whom 
little  or  nothing  is  known.  There  is  in  Wakefield,  Doctor  Hazard, 
the  son  of  another  physician,  the  sketch  of  whose  lives  we  have 
been  unable  to  obtain.  Two  physicians  are  also  in  the  habit  of 
practicing  their  profession  at  Narragansett  Pier  during  the  sum- 
mer months.  Doctors  Bache  McE.  Emmet  and  Smith  St.  Clair,  both 
residents  during  the  winter  months  of  New  York  city.  Doctor 
Birckhead  of  Kingston  and  Doctor  Thomas  M.  Potter  of  Kings- 
ton have  also  practiced  their  profession  in  the  county. 

From  1885  to  1887  Doctor  H.  A.  Sherwood  practiced  medicine 
in  Westerly.  Doctor  Sherwood  came  to  Westerly  from  Ohio,  and 
during  the  two  years  he  remained  in  practice  did  considerable 
operative  surgery,  gaining  for  himself  the  reputation  of  a  skillful 
surgeon.  His  health  failed  him  and  he  removed  to  Ohio.  Of  him 
nothing  definite  as  regards  his  family  history  is  known. 

Doctor  William  A^.  Philbrick  practiced  in  Westerly  for  a  short 
time  after  his  graduation  from  Jefferson  Medical  College,  having 
an  office  in  the  Lew  House  on  Canal  street.  Doctor  Philbrick's 
stay  in  Westerly  was  short,  and  upon  his  departure  the  writer 
lost  trace  of  him  and  has  been  unable  to  gain  more  definite 
knowledge  concerning  his  antecedents  or  whereabouts. 

Of  Doctor  Fletcher,  who  practiced  in  Westerly  some  thirty 
years  ago,  little  can  be  learned.  He  had  an  office  over  Potter  & 
Champlin's  drug  store,  and  at  one  time  did  an  extensive  practice. 


He  went  to  the  war  in  1861.  Doctor  Wilbur  lived  and  prac- 
ticed in  Hopkinton  for  some  years  and  was  an  uncle  of  Doctor 
William  H.  Wilbur.  Doctor  James  C.  Harris  lived  in  Hopkinton, 
studied  medicine  and  at  once  entered  the  war,  and  soon  died 
from  consumption  acquired  during  the  service. 

Doctor  Robert  K.  Sunderland  was  born  February  24th,  1815. 
He  was  married  to  Judith  A.  Hopkins  in  1 853.  She  died,  leaving 
two  children— Harriet,  who  died  in  1860,  and  Caroline  E.  In 
1865  he  was  married  to  Lydia  Sheldon,  who  died,  leaving  one 
daughter — Harriet  A.  His  present  wife's  maiden  name  was 
Mary  Kenyon.  Doctor  Sunderland  has  practiced  medicine  thirty 
years.  Prior  to  that  he  was  a  farmer  and  superintendent  of  a 
carding  mill. 

Of  other  physicians  who  may  have  lived  in  this  county  the 
writer  has  been  unable  to  gain  information. 

Twice  before  the  existence  of  the  present  Medical  Society  was 
there  an  attempt  made  to  form  a  County  Medical  Society,  but 
both  were  futile.  In  1883,  however,  the  need  of  some  such  asso- 
ciation became  imperative,  and  Doctors  E.  R.  Lewis,  J.  H.  Mor- 
gan, George  V.  Foster  and  F.  T.  Rogers,  at  a  meeting  held  at 
the  house  of  the  latter  decided  to  form  a  so-called  Clinical  Club. 
Later  it  was  decided  to  make  it  open  to  membership  for  any  res- 
ident of  the  county,  and  January  31st,  1884,  the  first  regular 
meeting  of  the  Washington  County  Medical  Society  was  held  at 
the  house  of  Doctor  Edwin  R.  Lewis,  with  eight  members  pres- 
ent. The  constitution  and  by-laws  of  the  society  presented  by  a 
committee,  were  adopted  and  the  officers  were  chosen  for  the 
first  year  of  its  existence :  President,  Edwin  R.  Lewis ;  vice- 
president,  A.  B.  Briggs,  of  Ashaway ;  secretary,  F.  T.  Rogers. 
During  the  first  year  interest  in  the  society  increased  as  its  value 
became  apparent,  and  at  the  first  annual  meeting  of  the  society 
which  was  held  at  the  Dixon  House,  Westerly,  January  15th, 
1885,  the  secretary  reported  that  the  membership  had  increased 
to  fifteen.  At  the  next  annual  meeting  the  membership  had  in- 
creased to  twenty,  an  addition  of  five  during  the  year.  The 
growth  of  the  society  has  continued  until  at  the  last  annual  meet- 
ing a  total  membership  of  twenty-seven  was  reported,  leaving  in 
the  county  only  two  regular  graduates  from  a  recognized  medi- 
cal school  who  are  not  members  of  the  society. 

Some  idea  of  the  value  to  the  members  of  the  society  from  its 
meetings  may  be  learned  from  the  fact  that  during  the  time  of 


its  existence  there  have  been  read  before  the  society  seventy- 
three  papers  inviting  discussion,  aside  from  the  numerous  cases 
reported  and  pathological  specimens  presented.  Apart  from  its 
value  from  a  professional  standpoint,  the  social  meetings  and 
good  cheer  which  prevail  at  the  annual  and  quarterly  meetings 
have  done  much  to  render  the  relations  between  the  different 
members  pleasant  and  friendly,  as  well  as  to  enliven  the  other- 
wise tedious  drudgery  of  a  country  practitioner's  life. 

Physicians  of  Kent  County. 

Thomas  Spencer. — Thomas  Aldrich. — Dutee  Jerauld. — Joseph  Joslyn. — Peter 
Turner. — John  Tibbitts. — Charles  Eldredge. — Lucius  M.  Wheeler.— Daniel 
Howland  Greene. — James  H.  Eldredge. — Sylvester  Knight. — Stephen  Harrl-. 
— John  J.  W^ood. — John  McGregor. — Job  Kenyon. — Ira  C.  Winsor. — John 
Winsor.— John  Matteson.— F.  B.  Smith.— M.  J.  E.  Legris.— James  B.  Tilling- 
hast. — William  J.  Burge.— James  Boardman  Hanaford.— W.  H.  Sturtevant. 
— C.  L.  Wood. — E.  G.  Carpenter. — G.  L.  Richards. — Joseph  Suprenant. — 
John  F.Carpenter.— William  Hubbard.— N.  B.  Kenyon.— Albert  C.  Dedriok.— 
Albert  G.  Sprague. — George  T.  Perry. 

Physicians  of  East  Greenzvicli* — Among  the  immigrants  to  this 
country  from  old  England  were  a  goodly  number  of  chirurgeons. 
John  Greene  from  Salisbury,  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  the  town 
of  Warwick,  was  a  surgeon  ;  but  among  the  fifty  proprietors  of 
the  town  of  East  Greenwich  there  was  no  physician,  and  in  the 
early  years  of  its  history  no  one  is  spoken  of  as  of  that  profession 
unless  it  might  be  Susannah  Spencer,  Elizabeth  Pearce  and  sev- 
eral other  women,  as  a  jury  decided  a  delicate  question  submitted 
to  them  by  the  public  authorities,  which  proves  that  at  this  date 
(1684)  these  wise  women  were  relied  upon  in  such  emergencies, 
and  that  there  was  no  other  physician  here. 

Thomas  Spencer,  seventh  son  of  John  and  Susannah  Spencer, 
was  born  on  the  22d  day  of  July,  1679,  as  the  record  says,  "  the 
first  English  child  born  in  this  town."  ]\Iarvellous  powers  in  the 
healing  art  have  been  always  attributed  to  the  seventh  son,  and 
it  may  have  been  from  this  ancient  superstition  that  Doctor 
Spencer  was  indebted  for  his  title.  That  he  was  a  man  of  re. 
spectable  attainments  is  abundantly  shown  by  the  manner  in 
which  he  kept  the  records  of  the  town  for  thirty-nine  years,  from 

*  By  James  H.  Eldredge,  M.  D. 


1713  to  1752.  He  was  several  times  sent  as  deputy  to  the  general 
assembly,  a  local  magistrate,  and  in  the  latter  part  of  his  life  a 
member  and  recognized  minister  among  the  Friends,  the  pre- 
vailing denomination  of  Christians  in  this  vicinity.  Doctor  Spen- 
cer built  a  large  house  on  the  hill  near  the  village,  near  what  is 
now  known  as  the  Bluff — a  square  structure  with  massive  stone 
chimney,  hipped  roof  and  porch  over  the  front  entrance.  Some 
of  the  windows  had  the  small  diamond  panes  with  leaden  sash. 
It  had  the  great  room  and  guest  chamber  over  it  of  ample  dimen- 
sions. In  Doctor  Spencer's  time  this  house  was  famous  for  its 
hospitality,  entertaining  Friends  in  their  regular  visitations  in  a 
generous  way,  and  this  feature  of  the  house  was  maintained  by 
its  successive  occupants  for  two  or  more  generations. 

Doctor  Spencer's  reputation  as  a  physician  does  not  appear  to 
have  been  confined  to  this  immediate  neighborhood.  A  young 
man  from  Scituate,  Thomas  Aldrich,  came  to  study  medicine 
with  him,  and  resided  in  his  family,  and  married  his  daughter, 
and  remained  here  all  his  life,  succeeding  him  in  his  large  landed 
estate  and  as  a  man  of  note  in  the  town,  although  it  does  not  ap- 
pear that  he  for  any  time  practiced  medicine. 

Doctor  Thomas  Spencer  died  in  April,  1752,  when  he  had 
nearly  completed  his  seventy-fourth  year.  He  was  buried  in  the 
old  Friends' meetinghouse  yard  near  Pain's  Mill  pond.  Accord- 
ing to  the  usage  among  Friends  in  those  early  days,  no  inscrip- 
tion was  put  upon  the  stone  which  marks  his  grave,  and  the 
precise  spot  is  not  now  known.  He  was  twice  married  ;  his  first 
wife  dying  in  1742  and  his  second  in  1747.  By  his  first  wife  he 
had  two  children,  a  son  who  died  in  early  life  and  a  daughter 
who,  as  has  been  stated,  married  Thomas  Aldrich.  Mrs.  Aldrich 
had  no  children. 

Doctor  Dutee  Jerauld  came  from  the  town  of  Medfield,  Mass., 
and  settled  in  East  Greenwich  in  1742.  Doctor  Jerauld  was  of 
French  parentage,  but  born  in  this  country.  His  father  was  a 
physician  and  from  him  he  received  his  medical  education.  When 
he  came  to  this  place  he  was  about  thirty  years  old.  He  married 
soon  after  he  came  here  the  daughter  of  Edward  Gorton,  of  War- 
wick, near  Gorton's  pond.  His  house  was  near  the  corner  of 
Queen  and  Duke  streets,  formerly  known  as  the  Goddard  house, 
and  later  on  as  the  Richard  Edwards  place.  After  living  in  this 
house  for  ten  years  or  more  he  removed  to  a  small  farm  in  War- 
wick, on  the  Post  road,  midway  between  the  villages  of  Appo- 


naug-  and  East  Greenwich,  probably  for  the  convenieace  of  his 
practice  in  these  places.  Doctor  Jerauld  had  a  family  of  five 
sons  and  four  daughters.  His  eldest  son,  Gorton,  was  a  physician, 
and  resided  in  the  western  part  of  the  town  of  Warwick  where 
he  had  a  small-pox  hospital.  Another  son,  James,  was  for  many 
years  town  clerk  of  Warwick.  A  daughter  married  Samuel 
Pearce  of  Prudence  Island,  and  was  the  mother  of  the  late  Hon- 
orable Dutee  Jerauld  Pearce  of  Newport.  Fifty  years  ago  the 
name  of  Doctor  Jerauld  was  often  heard — his  memory  was  very 
dear  to  many  of  the  old  people  in  this  vicinity.  He  was  kind 
and  gentle  in  his  manner,  especially  so  in  his  intercourse  with 
the  sick.  He  wore  the  plain  garb  of  the  Friends,  and  in  his 
latter  years  connected  himself  informally  with  that  sect.  When 
about  eighty  years  old  he  was  thrown  from  his  carriage  and  re- 
ceived an  injury  to  his  hip  from  which  he  was  ever  after  lame 
and  disabled,  and  walked  with  difficulty  with  the  aid  of  a  crutch, 
but  still  rode  about  among  his  patients  and  friends  giving  them 
greetings  and  kindly  advice  without  leaving  his  carriage,  and  re- 
ceiving from  them  such  refreshment  as  it  was  the  custom  of  the 
time  to  offer,  and  which  his  age  and  many  infirmities  seemed  to 
demand.  Many  of  his  prescriptions  and  wise  hygienic  injunc- 
tions have  been  handed  down  through  three  or  four  generations. 
Doctor  Jerauld  was  short  and  rather  stout  and  of  dark  com- 
plexion. His  countenance  was  distinguished  by  a  mild  black 
eye  of  very  pleasant  expression,  recognized  now  in  his  remote 
descendants,  and  known  as  the  Jerauld  eye.  He  died  in  July, 
1813,  in  the  ninety-first  year  of  his  age,  and  was  buried  on  the 
farm  where  he  resided,  but  the  exact  place  of  his  grave  is  not 
now  known. 

In  the  year  1770  Doctor  Joseph  Joslyn,  a  native  of  Scotland,  an 
accomplished  physician,  came  to  East  Greenwich  through  the 
influence  of  the  family  of  Governor  Greene  and  the  Graves  of 
Potowomut.  He  was  not  only  esteemed  as  a  physician  but  as  an 
accomplished  gentleman  and  considered  a  great  acquisition  to 
the  social  circle.  Doctor  Joslyn  had  hospitals  for  the  inoculation 
and  treatment  of  small-pox  here  and  elsewhere  in  the  state,  and 
at  times  numbers  of  people  came  from  a  distance  to  place  them- 
selves in  his  care  to  go  through  the  modified  form  of  this  dread 
disease,  as  was  then  the  custom,  especially  in  the  early  years  of 
the  war  of  the  revolution.  The  rambling  old  gambrel  roofed 
house,  about  a  mile  from   the  village,    called   the    Fry  house. 


within  twenty  years  destroyed  by  fire,  and  now  replaced  by  a 
modern  edifice  owned  by  Mr.  C.  A.  Sbippee,  was  one  of  these 

Doctor  Joslyn  married,  soon  after  he  came  to  the  town,  the 
widow  of  Archibald  Campbell,  and  lived  in  the  house  which  she 
owned  on  the  main  street.  This  house  is  still  standing,  repaired 
and  modernized,  and  now  owned  by  Dutee  J.  Babcock.  The 
arduous  duties  and  the  convivial  habits  of  Doctor  Joslyn  led  to 
his  early  death  at  the  age  of  forty-four  in  the  year  1780.  His 
body  lies  buried  in  the  old  Baptist  cemetery  on  the  hill  near 
the  railroad,  near  the  graves  of  his  fellow  countrymen,  the 

At  the  close  of  the  revolutionary  war,  in  1782,  Doctor  Peter 
Turner  established  himself  here  as  a  physician  and  surgeon. 
Doctor  Turner  was  the  son  of  William  Turner  of  Newark,  N.  J., 
and  grandson  of  Captain  William  Turner,  of  Newport,  R.  I.  He 
was  born  September  2d,  1751,  married,  in  1776,  Martha,  daughter 
of  Cromwell  Child,  of  Warren,  and  died  in  East  Greenwich  in 
February,  1822.  His  father  died  when  he  was  very  young  and 
left  him  in  the  care  of  his  brother-in-law.  Doctor  Canfield,  with 
whom  he  studied  medicine.  At  the  commencement  of  the  war 
he  joined  the  army  and  was  attached  to  one  of  the  Rhode  Island 
regiments  (Colonel  Greene's)  as  surgeon,  and  served  until  its 
close.  He  was  no  doubt  led  to  settle  here  from  the  fact  that  he 
had  made  many  acquaintances  and  strong  friendships  with  per- 
sons from  this  town  while  in  the  army,  and  also  from  the  fact 
that  General  James  Mitchell  Varnum,  his  brother-in-law,  resided 
here  at  that  time.  Doctor  Turner  was  the  first  medical  man  in 
this  part  of  the  state  who  had  much  experience  in  surgery,  and 
coming  so  recently  from  the  army  inspired  some  little  awe  and 
apprehension  among  the  good  people  of  the  county  as  they 
placed  themselves  under  his  care,  lest  he  should  take  off  an  arm 
or  a  leg  without  so  much  as  saying  "  by  your  leave."  This  soon 
wore  off  and  he  found  himself  engaged  in  an  extensive  practice 
reaching  many  miles  into  the  country.  He  preferred  very  much 
the  practice  of  surgery  and  was  a  bold  and  skillful  operator.  His 
manner  was  at  times  authoritative  and  severe,  and  when  occasion 
seemed  to  require  it,  he  could  use  strong  language.  If,  at  times, 
in  his  intercourse  with  the  rude  people  of  a  town  like  this,  he 
manifested  a  harsh  temper,  it  was  abundantly  shown  that  he 
possessed  tender  feelings  and  refined  and  cultivated  taste.    His 


house,  on  the  corner  of  Pearce  and  Court  street,  was  in  his  day 
an  attractive  feature  of  the  village.  The  porch  in  front  was 
shaded  by  a  grape  vine,  fragrant  in  spring  and  fall  with  blossom 
and  fruit,  the  curiously  paved  yard,  at  the  west,  was  filled  with 
natural  curiosities  collected  from  sea  and  land,  and  the  garden 
on  the  east  was  filled  with  rare  flowers  and  choice  fruits,  the  low 
fence  allowing  every  passer-by  to  have  a  full  view  of  their  beauty. 

Doctor  Turner  was  one  of  the  founders  of  the  Social  Library,  a 
valuable  collection  of  standard  English  literature  of  the  time, 
much  read  by  the  j'^oung  people  of  the  town  more  than  half  a 
century  ago.  During  his  residence  here  Doctor  Turner  had 
many  students  in  his  office,  including  the  late  Doctor  William 
Turner  of  Newport,  who  was  his  nephew  and  son-in-law ;  Doctor 
Tibbitts  of  Apponaug ;  Doctor  Tillinghast  of  Frenchtown ;  Doc- 
tor King,  a  relative,  who  lived  and  died  in  Exeter  in  this  state, 
and  also  his  sons,  Daniel,  who  removed  to  the  South  and  died  of 
yellow  fever  at  St.  Mary's,  Georgia ;  Henry,  who  left  the  pro- 
fession and  removed  to  the  state  of  South  Carolina  and  died  there 
within  the  last  twenty  years,  and  the  late  Doctor  James  V.  Tur- 
ner of  Newport.  Doctor  Turner  was  short  and  rather  stout, 
and  active  in  his  movements.  He  wore  a  green  shade  over  his 
right  eye,  of  which  he  had  lost  the  sight.  He  rode  on  horse- 
back to  visit  his  patients,  and  always  on  the  canter,  carrying  a 
cane  pointed  between  the  horse's  ears.  In  this  way  he  did  a 
large  business,  extending  for  eight  or  ten  miles  in  every  direc- 
tion,over  rough  roads,  in  summer  and  winter,  storm  and  sunshine, 
wearing  himself  out,  in  fact,  so  that  he  was  confined  to  the  house 
an  invalid  when  but  little  over  sixty  years  of  age,  and  died,  as 
before  stated,  February  14th,  1822,  in  his  seventy-first  year.  He 
was  buried  with  Masonic  honors  in  a  lovely  spot  called  the 
"  Grove,"  near  the  residences  of  Henry  A.  Thomas  and  General 
Chace.  After  lying  here  for  many  years  his  remains  were  taken 
to  Newport  and  placed  in  the  family  burying  ground  of  his  de- 
scendants in  that  town. 

Doctor  John  Tibbitts,  a  student  of  Doctor  Turner's,  opened  an 
office  here  in  the  early  years  of  this  century,  and  remained  here 
for  ten  years  or  more,  when  he  removed  to  Jewett  City,  in  Con- 
necticut, to  engage  in  other  business.  Not  meeting  with  the 
success  he  had  anticipated  there,  he  returned  to  this  state  and 
settled  down  in  the  village  of  Apponaug  in  his  native  town  of 
Warwick,  where  he  remained  all  his  life,  dying  in  January,  1838, 


in  his  seventieth  year.  Doctor  John  Tibbitts  was  the  son  of 
Waterman  Tibbitts,  born  on  the  Tibbitts  farm  in  Warwick  in 
1768,  married  in  East  Greenwich  Susan  Cook,  a  niece  of  Colonel 
William  Arnold,  who  survived  him  for  many  years. 

Doctor  Charles  Eldredge  came  to  this  town  in  the  autumn  of 
1810,  to  fill  the  place  left  vacant  by  the  removal  of  Doctor  Tib- 
bitts. It  was  supposed  at  the  time  to  be  but  a  temporary  engage- 
ment, but  finding  himself  soon  engaged  in  an  extensive  practice, 
owing  to  a  malignant  epidemic  then  prevailing  in  many  parts  of 
New  England,  and  Doctor  Tibbitts  not  returning  as  had  been 
expected,  the  temporary  arrangement  became  a  permanent  settle- 
ment which  continued  through  the  whole  of  his  life.  Doctor  El- 
dredge was  born  in  the  town  of  Brooklyn,  Windham  county, 
Conn.,  July  31st,  1784,  studied  medicine  with  Doctor  Thomas 
Hubbard  of  Pomfret,  attended  medical  lectures  in  the  University 
of  Pennsylvania,  and  was  for  one  season  a  resident  student  in 
the  Pennsylvania  Hospital.  When  he  came  here  he  was  of  ma- 
ture years,  strong  physique,  in  high  health  and  with  strong  con- 
victions in  all  matters  of  public  interest,  and  open  and  decided  in 
his  declaration  of  opinion.  He  soon  became  interested  in  all  the 
affairs  of  the  town,  in  its  institutions  of  religion  and  learning, 
and  in  the  business  enterprises  of  its  citizens,  identified  as  one 
of  its  permanent  residents. 

When  he  came  here  there  was  no  other  regular  religious 
service  than  the  meetings  of  the  Society  of  Friends — "  not 
a  bell  in  the  town,"  as  I  heard  him  say.  He  joined  with  the 
people  in  reorganizing  the  Congregational  society,  in  rebuild- 
ing and  refitting  their  meeting  house,  and  in  settling  a  minister, 
the  Reverend  Mr.  Waldo,  who  lived  to  be  a  centenarian, 
and  was  made  chaplain  of  Congress  after  he  had  passed  his 
one  hundredth  year.  He  also  became  a  trustee  of  Kent 
Academy  and  contributed  to  this  institution.  He  was  one  of  the 
original  permanent  members  of  the  Society  for  the  Promotion  of 
Domestic  Industry,  and  served  many  terms  on  its  committees  for 
awarding  premiums.  Reared  on  a  farm,  he  retained  all  his  life  a 
fondness  for  agriculture  and  gardening,  and  did  much  in  a  prac- 
tical way  in  introducing  improved  methods  of  cultivating  the 
soil.  Although  he  could  find  time  to  interest  himself  in  these, 
as  it  were,  outside  matters,  the  largest  share  of  his  time,  his 
thoughts  and  his  feelings  were  taken  up  with  his  professional 
duties.     A  disciple  of  Doctor  Rush,  his  treatment  of  disease  was 


somewhat  marked  by  the  teachings  of  that  renowned  professor 
in  the  University  of  Pennsylvania,  and  excited  criticism  and 
severe  remarks  from  the  physicians  and  more  intelligent  people. 
He  soon,  however,  gained  the  respect  of  one  and  the  confidence 
and  esteem  of  the  other.  For  the  character  and  the  teachings  of 
Doctor  Rush  he  always  had  the  highest  regard,  and  professed 
himself  a  follower  of  his  school  of  medicine,  but  he  was  not  a 
blind  follower  of  any  school  or  theory.  His  habits  and  powers 
of  observation  enabled  him  to  notice  and  appreciate  every  variety 
which  disease  assumed.  The  epidemic  tendency  and  influence 
of  the  season,  the  peculiar  constitution  and  habits  of  the  patient 
were  always  his  careful  study,  and  his  prescriptions  and  treat- 
ment were  carefully  adapted  to  these  conditions.  Never  hesi- 
tating to  use  potent  means  when  the  condition  of  the  patient 
seemed  to  him  to  demand  it,  he  was  ever  ready  to  trust  to  Nature 
when  she  was  doing  her  work  in  the  right  way.  He  kept  him- 
self well  informed  in  the  progress  of  medical  science  and  every- 
thing new  in  the  way  of  improvement  which  his  judgment  and 
experience  approved  he  readily  adopted,  and  firmly  opposed 
whatever  appeared  to  be  a  trifling  innovation.  His  physical  and 
mental  qualities  well  fitted  him  for  the  practice  of  surgery,  and 
although  he  did  not  devote  himself  to  it  as  a  specialty,  his  repu- 
tation and  extensive  acquaintance  called  him  to  all  critical  cases 
happening  in  a  circuit  of  many  miles.  It  was  his  pride  to  avoid 
rather  than  to  perform  heroic  operations,  and  he  often  spoke 
with  pride  of  the  limbs  he  had  saved  by  careful  treatment  and 
restored  to  use,  after  those  frightful  injuries  which  so  often  occur 
in  our  cotton  mills. 

Doctor  Eldredge  was  one  of  the  original  members  of  the  Rhode 
Island  Medical  Society,  always  took  a  deep  interest  in  its  welfare 
and  was  its  president  from  1834  to  1837.  He  was  an  honorary 
member  of  the  Connecticut  Medical  Society,  and  in  1835  received 
the  degree  of  M.  D.  from  Yale  College.  He  died  on  the  15th  of 
September,  1888,  when  he  had  but  just  completed  his  fifty-fourth 
year,  and  is  buried  in  St.  Luke's  Cemetery,  to  which  place  his 
remains  were  removed  after  being  first  interred  in  the  burying 
ground  on  the  old  Baptist  Meeting  House  hill. 

Doctor  Lucius  M.  Wheeler  came  to  this  town  as  a  student  of 
medicine  in  the  office  of  Doctor  Charles  Eldredge  in  1823  or 
1824,  and  resided  in  his  family.  After  remaining  here  as  a 
student  for  a  year  or  more  he  attended  a  course  of  medical  lee- 


tures  in  Philadelphia  and  then  returned  and  settled  here  per- 
manently, having  previously  married,  while  a  student,  Patience, 
the  daughter  of  Captain  Perry  Arnold.  Doctor  Wheeler  was  the 
son  of  Pascal  Wheeler  of  Glocester,  in  this  state.  His  early  edu- 
cation was  in  his  native  town  and  in  the  city  of  Providence,  and 
previous  to  coming  here  he  had  been  a  student  in  the  office  of 
Doctor  Potter  of  Scituate.  Doctor  Wheeler  had  a  mechanical 
taste  and  talent  which  he  cultivated  and  exercised  for  his  own 
amusement,  and  made  quite  a  collection  of  curious  appliances  in 
the  line  of  practical  investigation.  He  was  also  successful  in  the 
cultivation  of  fruits  and  in  farming  in  a  small  way.  For  some 
years,  when  in  the  prime  of  life,  he  had  an  extensive  practice  in 
this  and  the  neighboring  towns,  and  in  the  latter  part  of  his  life 
had  an  office  in  Providence,  or  visited  the  city  regularly  to  attend 
to  his  professional  engagements. 

Doctor  Wheeler  became  a  permanent  invalid  after  a  severe  ill- 
ness which  came  upon  him  while  on  a  visit  to  his  daughter  in 
Middletown,  in  Rhode  Island,  and  although  he  partially  regained 
his  health,  he  was  unable  again  to  resume  active  business,  and 
confined  himself  to  his  office  business  here  and  occasionally,  as 
has  been  stated,  visiting  the  city  of  Providence  to  attend  to  busi- 
ness there.  Dr.  Wheeler's  first  wife  died  within  five  years  of 
their  marriage,  leaving  two  daughters,  one  of  whom  survives 
him.  He  married  for  his  second  wife  Miss  Abby  Torrey,  with 
whom  he  lived  for  more  than  twenty  years  ;  third,  Miss  Rebecca 
Hawkins  of  Scituate,  and  fourth  Mrs.  Irwin  who  survives  him. 
Doctor  Wheeler  died  in  August,  1880,  in  his  eighty-first  year,  and 
is  buried  in  the  South  burying  ground  near  this  village. 

Doctor  Daniel  Howland  Greene,  son  of  Howland  and  Nancy 
(Brown)  Greene,  was  born  in  West  Greenwich,  R.I.,  on  the  15th  day 
of  April,  1 807.  He  received  his  preliminary  education  in  his  native 
town  at  the  Kent  Academy,  and  at  a  select  school  in  South 
Kingstown.  He  studied  medicine  with  Doctor  Caleb  Fiske,  a 
celebrated  physician  in  the  town  of  Scituate,  attended  a  course 
of  lectures  at  the  Harvard  Medical  School  in  Boston,  and  with- 
out taking  his  degree  began,  in  1833,  the  practice  of  medicine  in 
the  village  of  Natick  in  the  town  of  Warwick.  He  remained 
there  for  about  eight  years  and  then  removed  to  East  Greenwich, 
where  he  resided  and  continued  the  practice  of  his  profession  for 
the  rest  of  his  life.  Doctor  Greene  adopted  the  practice  of 
Homeopathy  on  the  introduction  of  that  dogma  into  the  pro- 


fession,and  announced  himself  a  follower  of  Hahnemann,  among 
the  earliest  of  the  disciples  of  that  school,  but  he  made  very  little 
change  in  his  practice.  He  always,  in  his  prescriptions,  preferred 
the  placebo  to  the  more  potent  remedy,  and  he  continued  the  use 
of  opiates  in  various  forms,  sometimes  in  heroic  and  never  in 
infinitesimal  doses.  From  his  natural  temperament  he  avoided 
the  practice  of  surgery  and  the  sight  of  blood,  which  made  him 
faint.  He  avoided,  too,  as  much  as  possible,  attendance  upon 
severe  cases  of  illness  which  were  likely  to  prove  fatal  in  his 
hands.  He  took  no  interest  in  the  current  medical  literature, 
and,  as  he  often  said,  rarely  read  a  medical  book.  With  these 
marked  peculiarities,  which  he  made  no  attempt  to  cover  up,  but 
in  which  he  rather  took  pride,  he  yet  had  a  large  patronage  in 
East  Greenwich  and  the  adjoining  towns  and  in  the  remote  parts 
of  the  state,  as  well  as  in  the  city  of  Providence,  where  he  had 
an  office  which  he  visited  daily. 

Doctor  Greene  had  a  taste  for  light  literature,  music  and  for 
art,  cultivated  in  some  measure  in  early  life  and  pursued  in  his 
busier  years  for  his  own  pleasure  and  amusement.  He  pub- 
lished in  the  East  Greenwich  local  paper,  the  Pendulum,  a  series 
of  articles  on  the  manners  and  customs  of  the  people  of  this 
neighborhood  in  the  old  colonial  days  and  in  the  revolutionary 
times.  This  led  to  his  preparing  a  history  of  the  town  in  the 
centennial  year  (1876),  a  work  which  gave  satisfaction  to  all  par- 
ties interested,  and  which  lent  to  his  name  fame  and  notoriety 
more  than  any  other  work  of  his  life.  The  edition  published  of 
this  local  history  became  exhausted,  and  it  was  his  purpose  to  pre- 
pare a  new  one  at  an  early  day  with  such  additions  and  correc- 
tions as  subsequent  and  more  thorough  investigations  had  enabled 
him  to  make.  Doctor  Greene  was  twice  married :  first,  in  1833,  to 
Jane,daughter  of  Doctor  George  Hazard  of  South  Kingstown.  She 
died  in  1834,  leaving  a  son  who  died  in  childhood.  He  afterward 
married  Susan,  daughter  of  Samuel  Proud  of  this  town.  She  died 
without  issue.  For  several  months  previous  to  his  decease. 
Doctor  Greene  had  been  in  feeble  health,  growing  more  and 
more  infirm,  until  he  passed  quietly  from  life  on  Saturday  even- 
ing at  eight  o'clock,  November  6th,  1886. 

James  H.  Eldredge,  M.  D.,the  son  of  Doctor  Charles  and  Han- 
nah (Child)  Eldredge,  was  born  in  East  Greenwich,  in  the  house 
in  which  he  now  resides,  on  the  27th  of  May,  1816.  His  early 
education  was  at  Kent  Academy,  under  the  preceptorship  of  the 


ARTOTYPE,     E      flJERSTADT,     N.    1 


Honorable  Christopher  Robinson  and  at  the  select  school  of 
Charles  W.  Greene,  Esq.,  under  the  tutorship  of  John  Giles,  A.  M. 
He  began  the  study  of  medicine  Avith  his  father,  spent  a  year  at 
Yale  for  instruction  in  chemistry  and  physical  science  under 
Professor  Silliman,  and  graduated  in  medicine  at  Jefferson  Col- 
lege in  Philadelphia  in  1837.  He  assisted  his  father  in  his  prac- 
tice for  a  year  and  a  half,  as  long  as  his  father  lived,  until  Sep- 
tember, 1838.  From  that  time  he  has  been  actively  engaged  as 
a  general  practitioner  of  medicine  for  more  than  fifty  years,  in 
the  same  office  and  residence,  only  on  rare  occasions,  and  then  in 
the  line  of  his  duty,  to  attend  some  medical  convention  as  a 
delegate,  leaving  his  post,  and  never,  up  to  this  time,  Dei  gratia, 
off  duty  for  a  day  on  account  of  sickness.  Doctor  Eldredge  was 
chosen  vice-president  of  the  Rhode  Island  Medical  Society  in 
1856,  and  held  that  of&ce  for  two  years.  In  1858  he  was  made 
president,  and  held  that  office  for  two  years,  and  during  those 
years  was  ex  officio  trustee  of  the  Fiske  fund.  Since  this  time  he 
has  been  a  member  of  the  board  of  censors  of  the  above  named 
society.  Doctor  Eldredge  has  been  a  member  of  the  school  com- 
mittee of  his  town  for  more  than  forty  years,  for  twenty  years  as 
clerk,  and  for  about  the  same  time  chairman  of  the  board.  In  the 
spring  of  1886  he  was  elected  a  member  of  the  town  council,  and 
in  1887-8  he  represented  his  town  in  the  general  assembly  as 

Doctor  Sylvester  Knight  was  born  in  Cranston  in  1787.  He 
came  to  Centreville  about  the  year  1806,  and  was  married  in  1808. 
He  lived  here  about  thirty  years,  practicing  medicine,  and  a  por- 
tion of  the  time  was  a  partner  with  the  late  Doctor  Stephen 
Harris,  in  cotton  manufacturing  at  River  Point.  He  finally  gave 
up  his  profession  and  removed  to  Providence,  and  lived  m  the 
house  next  north  of  the  custom  house.  He  had  an  extensive 
practice,  and  was  generally  regarded  as  a  judicious  and  skillful 
physician.  He  died  in  Providence,  March  15th,  1841,  aged  54. 
His  first  wife,  Lucina  (Comstock)  Greene,  died  December  22d, 
1819,  aged  32.  There  were  four  children  by  this  marriage.  His 
second  wife,  Louisa  V.,  died  January  3d,  1873,  aged  71,  by  whom 
he  had  six  children. 

Doctor  Stephen  Harris  was  born  in  Johnston,  R.  I.,  October 
29th,  1786.  His  father's  name  was  Cyrus,  "  son  of  Caleb,  son  of 
Henry,  son  of  Thomas,  son  of  Thomas,  son  of  Thomas."     The 


latter  person  came  from  England  and  settled  in  Salem,  whence 
he  removed  to  Providence  about  the  year  1836-7,  and  was  a 
brother  of  William  Harris,  who  figured  prominently  in  early 
colonial  times.  On  his  way  to  England  to  attend  to  his  affairs, 
the  ship  in  which  William  was  a  passenger  was  captured  by  a 
Barbary  Corsair,  and  he  and  the  rest  of  the  passengers  and  crew 
were  taken  to  Algiers  and  sold  as  slaves.  Caleb  Harris,  the 
grandfather  of  Doctor  Stephen,  was  for  awhile  a  judge  of  one 
of  the  courts  of  Providence  county,  and  a  man  of  acknowledged 
ability.  The  doctor  received  his  education  at  Woodstock,  Conn., 
and  Brown  University,  though  the  death  of  his  father  prevented 
him  from  completing  his  course  at  the  latter  institution.  He 
studied  medicine  at  Dartmouth  College  and  with  Doctor  Fiske, 
of  Scituate,  and  commenced  practice  in  Johnston  about  the  first 
of  March,  1808,  and  left  there  for  Coventry,  June  12th,  1809,  and 
settled  at  the  place  now  called  Quidnick,  boarding  in  the  family 
of  Theodore  A.  Foster,  paying  $2.50  per  week  for  his  board  and 
that  of  his  horse.  The  young  aspirant  for  medical  knowledge 
went  to  Dartmouth  College  on  horseback  in  company  with  the 
late  Doctor  Andrew  Harris,  of  Canterbury,  Conn.,  this  being  the 
chief  mode  of  taking  long  journeys  at  the  time,  though  the 
"  riding  chair  "  was  used  to  some  extent. 

Doctor  Harris  married  Eliza  Greene,  a  daughter  of  Captain 
James  Greene,  December  3d,  1809. 

He  afterward  removed  to  Centreville,  where  he  became  asso- 
ciated in  practice  with  the  late  Doctor  Sylvester  Knight,  and 
erected  a  building  near  the  bridge,  which  is  still  standing,  in 
which  not  only  drugs  and  medicines  were  kept  for  use  in  their 
own  practice,  but  were  dispensed  to  neighboring  physicians,  as 
they  were  wanted.  They  also  kept  a  supply  of  groceries,  etc. 
"  The  winters  of  1816  and  '17  and  '18,  he  spent  in  Savannah,  Ga., 
where  he  and  Resolved  Waterman  established  a  commission 
house.  On  his  return  home  he  resumed  manufacturing.  He  was 
a  man  of  quick  apprehension,  observing  at  once  everything 
amiss  in  his  mills  while  passing  hurriedly  through  them.  It  is 
said,  he  once  put  a  shaving  into*  an  imperfect  joint,  in  the  pres- 
ence of  a  negligent  artizan,  and  by  this  silent  reminder  adminis- 
tered an  effective  rebuke.  During  his  residence  in  Centreville 
he  was  one  of  the  most  cheerful  and  agreeable  members  of  so- 
ciety. Mrs.  Harris,  his  wife,  died  j\Iarch  23d,  1820.  In  1822  he 
married  Maria,  the  daughter  of  Edward  Manton,  who  survived 
him.     The  doctor  died  October  10th,  1858,  ao-ed  72." 


John  J.  Wood,  Crompton,  was  another  prominent  man — an 
agent  or  superintendent  of  the  mills  for  some  years,  and  an 
active  promoter  of  everything  good  in  the  village.  He  was  a 
member  of  the  Baptist  church,  and  for  some  years  its  treasurer, 
of  a  somewhat  cautious  disposition  but  always  ready  to  do  more 
than  he  would  promise.  During  the  latter  years  of  his  life  he 
kept  a  store  in  a  small  building  that  stood  just  opposite  Mr. 
Booth's  hotel.  He  died  November  25th,  1860,  at  the  age  of  64. 
One  of  his  daughters  married  the  late  Doctor  William  A.  Hub- 
bard, who,  for  many  years,  was  a  practicing  physician  of  the 
village.  Doctor  Hubbard  was  born  in  Killingly,  Conn.,  educated 
at  Pittsfield, 'Mass.,  and  was  a  popular  physician,  having  a  large 
practice.  He  had  several  students  of  medicine  at  different  times, 
among  whom  were  his  brother,  the  late  Doctor  Henry  Hubbard, 
Doctor  -McGregor,  Doctor  Card,  of  South  Kingstown,  and  Doctor 
Pike,  who  settled  in  Connecticut.  Doctor  Hubbard  died  March 
1st,  1857,  and  lies  in  Point  ■  Pleasant  cemetery  at  Centreville. 
Another  daughter  married  Honorable  Charles  T.  Northup,  chief 
state  constable  of  Rhode  Island. 

Doctor  John  McGregor,  of  Phenix,  purchased  a  lot  in  No- 
vember, 1847,  and  employed  John  L.  Smith  to  build  him  a  gothic 
dwelling  house.  In  the  front  of  the  upper  part  of  the  house  was 
built  a  recess  in  which  the  doctor  placed  two  images  that  at- 
tracted attention  and  many  remarks ;  after  a  few  years  they 
were  taken  away.  He  married  Emily,  the  daughter  of  Wil- 
liam C.  Ames,  who  died  March  11th,  1855,  in  the  28th  year  of 
her  age.  After  residing  in  the  house  for  several  years  he 
moved  to  Connecticut  and  there  married  a  Miss  Chandler.  When 
the  war  of  the  rebellion  broke  out  he  went  as  surgeon  of  one 
of  the  regiments  and  was  captured  and  imprisoned.  After 
being  released  he  came  to  Providence  impaired  in  health  and 
commenced  the  practice  of  medicine.  While  riding  along  South 
Water  street  his  horse  became  frightened  at  the  cars  and 
threw  him  out  and  the  wheels  of  the  cars  ran  over  his  arm 
and  crushed  it,  and  he  never  rallied  from  the  shock,  but  died 
November  4th,  1867,  aged  forty-eight  years,  and  was  buried  on 
the  hill  north  of  Phenix,  beside  his  wife.  His  widow  caused  a 
granite  monument  to  be  erected  to  his  memory. 

Job  Kenyon,  M.  D.,  is  a  grandson  of  John  Kenyon,  who  was 
of  Welsh  descent,  and  resided  in  Exeter,  R.  I.,  where  he  was  a 
prosperous  farmer.     He  was  twice  married,  his  second  wife  being 


Wealthon  Reynolds.  Their  children  were  thirteen  in  number, 
among  whom  was  Job,  a  native  of  Exeter,  where  his  death  oc- 
curred in  November,  ]820.  The  business  of  Job  Kenyon  was 
that  of  an  inn-keeper.  He  married  Elizabeth,  daughter  of  David 
Benjamins,  of  Exeter.  The  children  of  this  union  were:  Eliza, 
wife  of  Isaac  Green  ;  Mary,  married  to  William  B.  Wilcox  of  Nor- 
wich ;  Henry  B.,who  died  in  1835  ;  Abby,whose  death  occurred  in 
infancy ;  Abby,  second,  also  deceased  ;  Job,  and  Hannah,  wife  of 
Christopher  Lillibridge.  Job  Kenyon,  the  youngest  son,  was 
born  in  Exeter  on  the  8th  of  July,  1821,  and  received,  together 
with  the  other  children  of  the  family,  such  educational  oppor- 
tunities as  the  common  schools  of  the  town  afforded.  The  lad, 
however,  possessed  those  qualities  of  mind  and  character  which, 
when  properly  fostered  and  encouraged,  develop  a  career  of 
distinguished  usefulness.  He  sought  a  field  wider  than  was 
afforded  within  the  compass  of  his  home,  and  in  1843  began  the 
study  of  medicine  with  Doctor  Harvey  Campbell  of  Voluntown, 
Conn.  Subsequently  entering  the  medical  department  of  Yale 
College,  he  was  graduated  from  that  institution  in  1846,  and  im- 
mediately began  the  practice  of  his  profession  at  Carolina  Mills, 
Washington  county,  R.  I.  Here  he  remained  until  1853,  the  year 
of  his  removal  to  Anthony  village,  Kent  county,  of  the  same 

In  1869  the  doctor  erected  a  residence  at  River  Point  in 
the  latter  county,  then  unsettled  and  almost  in  a  condition  of 
primeval  forest.  Here  he  has  since  resided  and  continued  in 
the  practice  of  his  profession.  In  1864  he  opened  an  office  in 
Providence,  which  he  still  visits  daily,  and  may  be  found  during 
the  morning  hours.  In  August,  1862,  he  was  made  assistant 
surgeon  to  the  Third  Regiment  Rhode  Island  Artillery,  stationed 
at  Hilton  Head,  South  Carolina,  and  continued  in  the  service 
until  January  of  the  following  year,  ill  health  then  compelling 
his  resignation.  From  1865  until  1869  he  filled  by  appointment 
the  duties  of  physician  to  the  Marine  Hospital  of  that  city.  In 
1876  Doctor  Kenyon  sought  relaxation  from  the  arduous  labors 
of  an  extensive  practice  in  a  trip  to  Europe.  His  visits  to  the 
foreign  hospitals  and  acquaintance  with  eminent  men  of  the  pro- 
fession made  it  not  less  a  tour  of  interest  and  instruction  than  of 
pleasure.  The  doctor  has  for  many  years  had  a  wide  field  of 
labor,  which  has  latterly  from  choice  been  somewhat  diminished 
in  extent.     His  large  experience,  well  informed  mind  and  con- 

•  T^-ffTj^restoniC-^^Y. 

V  CXx,t-cw77,^_v^ 


ceded  ability  have  made  him  not  only  welcome  but  necessary  to 
many  families  in  the  county.  He  is  active  in  business  affairs 
connected  with  the  county,  is  a  director  of  the  Centreville  Na- 
tional Bank  and  formerly  filled  the  same  office  in  the  Coventry 
Bank.  He  was  in  1871  appointed  by  Governor  Padelford  a  mem- 
ber of  the  state  board  of  charities  and  correction,  and  continued 
to  hold  the  office  until  his  resignation  in  1884.  He  is  a  member 
and  was  for  two  years  president  of  the  State  Medical ,  Society. 
In  politics  a  republican,  with  independent  views  on  the  tariff 
question,  he  represented  Coventry  as  state  senator  from  1865  to 
1869,  and  was  elected  to  the  same  office  from  Warwick  in  1874. 
Doctor  Kenyon  was  married  in  April,  1854,  to  Phebe  M.,  daughter 
of  John  Hoxie,  of  Richmond,  R.  I.,  who  died  in  July,  1885.  He 
was  again  married  to  his  present  wife,  Sarah  A.,  daughter  of 
Joseph  Sisson  of  AVarwick,  on  the  22d  of  January,  1885. 

Doctor  Ira  C.  Winsor,  M.D.,  of  Coventry ,was  a  graduate  of  East 
Greenwich  Academy,  and  was  also  a  student  in  other  institutions. 
He  took  the  degree  of  M.  D.  from  the  Burlington  Medical  Col- 
lege, Iowa,  in  1862.  He  then  went  to  Rockland,  and  after  a  prac- 
tice of  one  year  became  assistant  surgeon  of  the  Ninth  Regiment. 
In  1869  he  came  to  the  town  of  Coventry,  where  he  remained  till 
his  death,  Avhich  occurred  at  Anthony  in  1877. 

John  Winsor,  M.  D.,  of  Coventry,  is  located  in  the  village  of 
Anthon}',  where  he  is  also  the  owner  of  an  excellent  drug  store, 
and  is  a  registered  pharmacist.  He  received  a  liberal  education 
from  high  schools  and  other  literary  institutions,  and  took  his 
degree  of  M.  D.  in  1865  from  Berkshire  Medical  College,  Pitts- 
field,  Mass.  After  graduation  he  practiced  about  four  years  in 
Sterling,  Conn.,  and  then  came  to  Coventry  in  company  with  his 
brother.  Doctor  Ira  C.  Winsor.  Doctor  Winsor  is  a  member  of 
the  Medico-Legal  Society,  and  is  medical  examiner  of  the  towns 
of  Coventry  and  West  Greenwich.  He  established  his  drug  store 
in  1878.  He  has  represented  his  district  in  the  state  senate  two 
years.  He  was  married  in  1878  to  Carrie  A.,  daughter  of  Daniel 
C.  Bowen. 

Doctor  John  Matteson,  of  Anthony  village,  Coventry,  was  an  old 
pupil  under  Doctor  Job  Kenyon,  formerly  of  that  town  and  now 
of  Warwick.  Doctor  Matteson  received  the  usual  preparatory 
instruction  required  for  the  pursuit  of  the  medical  profession, 
and  then  graduated  after  a  regular  course  of  lectures  from  a 
medical  college  in  New  York  in  1865,  and  afterward  practiced 


with  Doctor  Kenyon  until  1872.  In  1871  Doctor  Matteson  went 
into  the  mercantile  trade  and  soon  thereafter  gave  up  his  prac- 
tice. He  is  known  as  one  of  the  old  and  prominent  merchants 
of  the  place.  Asahel  Matteson  came  to  America  in  1848,  and 
soon  thereafter  bought  an  interest  in  the  Coventry  store.  Henry 
Matteson  went  into  business  with  his  uncle  about  the  beginning 
of  the  late  war,  and  Doctor  John  in  1871.  The  store  burned  Jan- 
uary 18th,  1886.  It  was  rebuilt  in  August  of  that  year  and  is 
now  occupied  by  John  Allen. 

Doctor  F.  B.  Smith  was  born  at  Columbus,  Ga.,  in  1848,  and  is  a 
son  of  Benoni  and  a  grandson  of  John  Smith.  He  took  an  aca- 
demic course  at  Moosup,  Conn.,  after  which  he  passed  some  time 
at  Norwich,  Conn.,  and  graduated  from  the  University  of  New 
York  City  in  the  spring  of  1873.  He  began  practice  in  the  town 
of  Coventry  in  the  village  of  Greene,  where  he  remained  six 
years.  He  then  came  to  Washington  as  successor  to  Allen  Til- 
linghast,  M.  D.,  who  retired  at  that  time.  Doctor  Smith's  practice 
has  been  unusually  successful  for  a  man  of  his  years.  He 
was  married  in  1879  to  Eva  H.,  daughter  of  Allen  Tillinghast, 
M.  D.,  who  had  practiced  medicine  here  about  thirty-six  years. 
Mr.  Smith  is  a  member  of  the  Baptist  church  of  Moosup.  He 
has  been  a  strong  temperance  advocate.  He  is  a  member  of 
Moosup  Lodge,  No.  113,  F.  &  A.  M. 

Marie  Joseph  Ernest  Legris,  M.  D.,  is  of  French  extraction,  his 
grandfather  having  been  Joseph  Legris,  whose  son,  Antoine,  a 
farmer  by  occupation,  resided  in  Louisville,  Province  of  Quebec, 
Canada.  The  latter  was  the  father  of  eleven  children  as  fol- 
lows :  Mathilde,  Ovid,  a  manufacturer  in  Montreal ;  Adele,  Agapit, 
a  parish  priest  in  Webster,  Mass.;  Charles,  a  physician  in  Canada ; 
Hormidas,  who  resides  on  the  homestead  and  is  a  member  of  the 
Canadian  parliament ;  Marie,  Louisa,  Annie,  Zotique,  an  attorney, 
now  deceased,  and  the  subject  of  this  biography.  Marie  Joseph 
Ernest  was  born  in  Louisville,  Quebec,  on  the  8th  of  May,  1857, 
and  received  his  elementary  education  at  the  schools  in  the  im- 
mediate vicinity  of  his  home.  His  course  of  instruction  was 
completed  at  Nicolet  College,  near  Three  Rivers,  on  the  St.  Law- 
rence, Canada,  where  his  studies  were  pursued  without  inter- 
mission for  six  years.  He  determined  upon  a  profession,  and 
choosing  that  of  medicine,  entered  the  Victoria  Medical  College, 
Montreal,  his  brother  meanwhile  being  his  preceptor.  After  a 
thorough  medical  training  involving  a  period  of  four  years,  he 

■''PE,     e.     BIERSTADT, 


was  graduated  from  that  institution  in  1879,  and  on  viewing  the 
field  of  labor  as  more  promising  in  the  United  States,  left  his 
native  province  and  sought  a  home  in  New  England.  He  first 
located  in  Natick  in  the  town  of  Warwick,  there  began  his  pro- 
fessional career,  and  in  1880,  before  the  second  year  had  expired, 
sought  a  wider  field  in  Centreville.  Here  he  has  since  remained 
and  engaged  in  the  general  practice  of  his  profession.  The 
doctor's  thorough  medical  training  very  soon  brought  him  a 
lucrative  practice  and  placed  him  among  the  leading  and  suc- 
cessful practitioners  of  the  county.  While  not  making  a  specialty 
of  any  department  of  medical  science,  his  judgment  and  skill 
have  been  especially  noticeable  in  the  department  of  obstetrics. 
His  field  of  labor  is  a  large  one,  covering  an  area  of  many  miles. 

Doctor  Legris  was  married  on  the  24th  of  October,  1881,  to 
Leopoldine  H.,  daughter  of  Louis  Des  Rosiers,  a  notary  of  Mon- 
treal. Their  children  are  :  Marie  Blanche,  born  May  8th,  1883  ; 
Louis  J.  A.,  November  13th,  1884 ;  Chariest  Ernest,  April  12th, 
1886,  and  M.  L.  Fiorina,  October  16th,  1887.  The  doctor  is  a 
director  of  the  Centreville  National  Bank,  and  vice-president  of 
the  Warwick  and  Coventry  Water  Works  Company.  He  is  in 
religion  a  Roman  Catholic,  and  a  member  of  St.  Jean  Baptiste 
church  of  that  denomination  in  Centreville,  of  which  he  is  a 
trustee.  He  is  honorary  president  of  the  St.  Jean  Baptiste  So- 
ciety of  the  latter  village,  as  well  as  of  the  same  society  in 
Natick.  He  endorses  the  principles  of  the  republican  party,  and 
is  much  interested  in  its  success.  He  was  elected  to  the  Warwick 
town  council,  but  has  not  aspired  to  higher  honors.  The  doctor 
is  a  member  of  the  Rhode  Island  State  Medical  Society  and  of 
the  French  Medical  Society  of  New  York  and  New  England. 

Doctor  James  B.  Tillinghast  was  born  in  1846.  His  father. 
Benoni  J.,  was  a  son  of  Captain  Joseph  Tillinghast,  a  son  of 
Deacon  Pardon  Tillinghast.  The  deacon's  father,  Charles,  is 
mentioned  in  Warwick  as  the  ancestor  of  Samuel  C.  Tillinghast. 
The  doctor  read  medicine  with  Doctor  John  Winsor,  of  Coventry, 
and  graduated  at  the  New  York  Homeopathic  Medical  College 
in  1872.  He  began  practice  in  Coventry  with  Doctor  Allen  Til- 
linghast. His  practice  included  the  western  part  of'  the  town  of 
Warwick  until  1888.  In  1887  he  opened  a  city  office  in  Provi- 
dence, and  to  his  practice  there  is  giving  the  most  of  his  at- 

Doctor  William  J.  Burge,  of  Pawtuxet,  is  a  native  of  Wick- 


ford,  R.  I.,  and  was  born  April  12th,  1831.  He  received  his  edu- 
cation at  the  Washington  Academy,  also  attended  the  academy 
at  East  Greenwich,  and  was  a  private  pupil  under  Doctor  Axtel 
Crane  of  that  village.  At  the  same  place  he  began  the  study  of 
medicine  under  Doctor  James  H.  Eldridge,  and  in  1853  gradu- 
ated from  the  College  of  Physicians  and  Surgeons,  'New  York 
city.  He  first  practiced  medicine  in  New  York  city  six  months, 
where  he  was  connected  with  the  Central  Dispensary,  Centre 
street,  and  also  with  the  New  York  Lying-in  Asylum.  He  moved 
from  here  to  Salisbury  .Connecticut,  and  married  a  step-daughter  of 
Bishop  Thomas  A.  Vail  of  Kansas,  but  removed  again  to  Brooklyn, 
where  he  practiced  medicine  with  his  brother,  J.  Hobart  Burge. 
During  his  stay  of  three  years  in  Brooklyn  he  was  surgeon  of 
the  Long  Island  College  Hospital. 

Doctor  James  Boardman  Hanafordwas  born  at  New  Hampton, 
N.  H.,in  1849.  His  maternal  ancestors  are  the  Prescotts  of  revo- 
lutionary fame.  While  a  lad  he  removed  with  his  parents  to 
New  London,  Conn.,  where  he  was  prepared  for  college,  and  in 
1867  entered  Dartmouth  College.  The  next  year  he  began  the 
study  of  medicine  with  Professor  L.  B.  Howe  of  Dartmouth.  In 
June,  1871,  he  graduated  from  the  medical  department  of  the 
University  of  the  City  of  New  York,  and  in  October  of  the  same 
year  located  in  the  village  of  Apponaug  and  opened  an  office, 
where  he  has  since  built  up  a  valuable  practice.  For  more  than 
half  of  the  seventeen  years  he  has  practiced  here  he  has  been  the 
town  physician  by  appointment  of  the  town  council.  In  1888  he 
was  elected  to  the  general  assembly  as  a  republican.  He  was 
married  in  October,  1872,  to  Anna  Louise,  daughter  of  Benjamin 
D.  Reynolds,  and  built  his  handsome  residence  in  1880.  He  is  a 
brother  of  Honorable  W.  A.  Hanaford,  of  East  Greenwich. 

Doctor  W.  H.  Sturtevant,  of  Pawtuxet,  studied  for  a  minister, 
and  preached  thirty  years.  He  began  the  work  of  a  clergyman 
about  1858,  and  spent  four  years  thereafter  ministering  to  a  Con- 
gregational society  in  Martha's  Vineyard.  He  then  went  to 
South  Bemis,Cape  Cod,  but  soon  went  back  to  Martha's  Vineyard, 
to  West  Tisbury,  where  he  remained  in  the  ministry  eighteen 
years.  It  was  here  and  under  the  tutorship  of  Doctor  Sisson,  a 
homeopathic  physician,  he  began  the  study  of  medicine,  and  where 
he  practiced  during  the  latter  part  of  his  stay  when  pastor  of  that 
society.    He  then  went  to  Tiverton,  R.  I.,  and  practiced  medicine 

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Doctor  Albert  C.  Dedrick,  of  Centreville,  was  born  in  Natick 
in  1831.  In  1854,  after  the  usual  training  of  the  common  schools, 
he  entered  the  New  York  State  University  Medical  College  at 
Albany,  N.  Y.,  where  he  was  graduated  December  28d,  1856.  The 
following  spring  he  began  at  Crompton,  R.  I.,  a  practice  which 
he  gave  up  five  years  later  to  take  a  commission  as  assistant  sur- 
geon in  the  Fourth  Rhode  Island  Volunteers.  After  the  regiment 
was  mustered  out  he  resumed  practice  at  Cranston,  R.  I.,  and  in 
the  following  year  he  located  at  Centreville,  where  he  has  since 
resided  and  practiced.  He  has  represented  Warwick  three  terms 
in  the  general  assembly.  He  is  a  member  of  Saint  John's  Com- 
mandery — the  oldest  in  the  United  States — and  has  been  master 
of  Manchester  Lodge,  F.  &  A.  M.,  of  Anthony,  R.  I.  He  has  two 
sons  and  a  daughter.  His  son  Albert  C.  Dedrick,  Jr.,  M.  D., 
graduated  at  Bellevue  Hospital  Medical  College  March  12th,  1888, 
after  preparatory  training  at  home,  and  at  Mowry  and  Goff's 
private  school  at  Providence.  He  is  now  located  at  Fall  River, 

Doctor  Albert  G.  Sprague  was  born  in  Providence  in  1836.  He 
was  educated  at  Pierce  Academy,  at  Middleboro,  Mass.  In  1857 
he  entered  Jefferson  Medical  College  at  Philadelphia,  from  which 
he  took  his  degree  in  1859.  During  the  civil  war  he  was  assistant 
surgeon  in  the  Tenth  and  Seventh  Rhode  Island  Regiments,  and 
in  1866  located  at  Centreville,  where  he  practiced  with  Doctor 
Hall.  In  1883  he  erected  his  elegant  residence  at  River  Point, 
where  is  now  the  center  of  his  practice.  Doctor  Sprague  has 
been  some  ten  years  a  member  of  the  state  board  of  health  and 
is  health  officer  of  this  town.  He  represented  Warwick  one 
term  in  the  general  assembly. 

Doctor  George  T.  Perry,  of  Natick,  is  a  son  of  William  G.  and 
grandson  of  George  C.  Perry,  who  lived  and  died  at  Perryville 
in  South  Kingstown,  having  resided  many  years  at  the  Commo- 
dore Perry  place.  William  G.  Perry  was  mill  manager  for  the 
Amoskeag  corporation  thirty  years  prior  to  1884,  when  he  retired 
to  Hampton,  N.  H.,  where  he  died  in  1887.  Doctor  George  T. 
Perry  was  educated  at  New  London  Academy  and  with  Doctor 
William  Burk,  of  Manchester,  N.  H.  In  1864  he  graduated  from 
Bellevue  Hospital  Medical  College.  He  went  out  one  year  as 
assistant  surgeon  of  the  Seventh  New  Hampshire  regiment,  and 
then  practiced  two  years  at  Lynn.     In  1867  he  came  to  Natick  as 


successor  to  Doctor  J.  S.  Andros,  then  lately  deceased,  -where  he 
is  still  practicing.  Doctor  Perry  was  ten  years  physician  and 
surgeon  for  the  state  institutions  at  Cranston  prior  to  March  1st, 
1883.  He  was  brigade  surgeon  of  the  state  militia  while  Thomas 
W.  Chace  was  general.  He  has  been  a  member  of  the  State 
Medical  Society  since  about  1870.  He  represented  Warwick  in 
the  state  senate  from  1872  to  1874. 


Principal  Features  of  the  Township.— The  First  Settlers  of  Westerly.— The  Pur- 
chase of  Misquamicut.— Hardships  Encountered  by  the  Early  Settlers.— 
Doctor  Joshua  Babcock.— Roll  of  Early  Freemen.— Town  Records.— Roll  of 
Representatives.— List  of  Town  Clerks.— Present  Officers.— Notes  from 
Timothy  Dwight.— Granite  Quarries. — Watch  Hill.— Ocean  View.— Potter 
Hill.— Lottery  Village.— White  Rook.— Nian tic— Indian  Church.— Presby- 
terian Church.— The  Union  Meeting  House. — The  Gardner  Church.— The 
Wilcox  Church. — Friends'  Society.— River  Bend  Cemetery. — Graveyards. 

THE  town  of  Westerly  is  situated  in  the  southwestern  corner 
of  the  state,  to  which  fact  the  town  owes  its  name.     The 
Indian  name  was  Misquamicut,  which  signifies  "  a  place 
for  taking  salmon."     The  township  is  considerably  rough  and 
broken.    The  soil,  which  is  generally  gravelly  loam,  affords  most 
of  the  varieties  from  a  fertile  mould  to  a  soil  lean  and  sterile. 

The  town  is  bounded  on  the  north  by  the  Pawcatuck  river  and 
the  town  of  Hopkinton,  on  the  east  by  Charlestown,  on  the  south 
by  the  Atlantic  Ocean,  and  on  the  west  by  the  Pawcatuck  river, 
which  separates  it  from  Connecticut.  Its  southern  border  being 
washed  by  the  Atlantic  Ocean  and  its  western  by  a  navigable 
river,  the  town  was  a  trading  post  of  some  maritime  interest 
formerly.  Westerly  was  the  first  town  incorporated  in  the  King's 
Province  (May  14th,  1669),  and  the  fifth  town  in  the  colony.  It 
contained  an  area  of  153.4  square  miles,  which  territory  now  be- 
longs to  the  four  towns  of  Westerly,  Hopkinton,  Charlestown 
and  Richmond.  It  was  the  largest  town  in  the  colony  except 
Providence  from  1669  to  1674,  when  it  was  outranked  by  Kings- 
town. On  the  23d  of  June,  1686,  the  name  was  changed  from 
Westerly  to  Haversham,  but  the  former  name  was  restored  in 
1689.  From  this  town  was  taken  the  territory  of  Charlestown, 
August  22d,  1738,  and  Hopkinton,  March  19th,  1757.  The  town 
of  Westerly  now  comprises  about  thirty-six  square  miles.  The 
following,  taken  from  Perry's  valuable  Census  Report  of  1885, 
gives  the  places  of  noted  interest : 


Villages  and  Hamlets. — Westerly,  Potter  Hill,  Stillmanville, 
Niantic  or  Dorrville,  formerly  called  Shad-dock  Weir ;  Lottery,  so 
called  from  the  lottery  grant  of  Joseph  Pendleton,  to  whom  the 
land  belonged ;  White  Rock,  Varietyville,  AVatch  Hill,  Quarry 
Hill,  Burden's  Pond. 

Hills. — Carr's,  Potter,  Bumpin,  Bear,  Cormorant,Village,  Quarrj^ 
formerly  called  Rhodes,  on  which  are  the  famous  granite  quar- 
ries. A  duel  was  fought  on  this  hill  by  two  American  midship- 
naen  in  the  war  of  1812 ;  Frazier's,  Chin. 

Rivers. — Pawcatuck ;  Indian  battle  about  1639  at  Pawcatuck 
Forge,  now  Pawcatuck  Bridge. 

Brooks. — Mastuxet,  Red,  Potter  Hill,  Noyes,  Lanphear,  Bliven, 

Ponds. — Watch  Hill,  Ward's,  sometimes  called  Babcock's,  In- 
dian name,  Winnapaug,  meaning  "fine  pond";  Quonocontaug 
(Westerly  side) ;  Burden's,  No  Bottom,  Dixon's. 

Sunnner  Resorts. — Watch  Hill,  Noyes  Neck,  Ocean  View, 

Indian  Names. — Misquamicut,  Mastuxet,  Aquantaug,  Muschaug, 
Musquataug,  Ashagomiconset,  Minnacommuck,  Nyantic,  Pawca- 
tuck, Pascomattas,  Quimamoge,  Teapanock,  Tiscatuck,  Minna- 
baug,  Muyquataug,  Neshudganset,  Paspatonage,  Pawtuxent, 
Tishcottie,  Tomaquaug,  Weecapaug. 

Points. — Napatree,  Sandy,  Watch  Hill,  Wheat,  Quahaug,  Wee- 
capaug Neck,  Noyes  Neck. 

Islands. — Minnacommuc  (in  Cedar  Swamp) ;  Noyes'  (in  Quono- 
contaug Pond) ;  Larkin's  (in  Ward's  Pond). 

Historic. — Noyes  Neck  extends  about  one  mile  from  the  main 
land  into  the  sea,  separating  Quonocontaug  and  Ward's  ponds. 
This  was  a  prominent  sporting  place  seventy  years  ago.  Ward's 
pond  is  connected  with  the  sea  by  Noyes'  Breach.  This  pond  was 
named  after  Governor  Samuel  Ward,  who  resided  here  during 
his  distinguished  official  career.  Cedar  Swamp.  Historic  house 
on  Quarry  hill.  Chickamug  was  a  fishing  place  on  Pawcatuck 
river,  a  little  above  the  bridge  leading  to  Stonington,  and  had 
a  weir,  which  the  name  signifies.  While  Westerly  has  diversified 
industries  and  interests,  it  is  best  known  by  the  granite  that  is 
taken  from  its  quarries,  and  used  not  only  for  building  purposes 
in  neighboring  towns  and  cities,  but  for  monuments  in  various 
parts  of  the  country.  The  town  has  done  its  part  to  illustrate 
the  truth  of  the  saying  elsewhere  referred  to,  that  "  Rhode  Island 


granite  may  serve  as  good  a  purpose  here  as  Pentelic  or  Parian 
marble  did  in  the  Athenian  republic."  This  granite  has  the 
virtue  of  retaining  its  polish  and  beauty  despite  the  severe  ordeal 
of  our  climate. 

The  first  whites  that  visited  the  shores  of  Westerly  were  Dutch 
traders  in  quest  of  furs,  for  which  they  exchanged  cloth  and  in- 
struments of  metal.  At  this  point,  however,  they  built  no  trading 
houses;  their  clumsy  pinnaces  entered  the  mouth  of  the  river, 
and  their  marts  were  on  the  open  shores. 

The  bold  and  famous  Captain  Adrian  Block  first  explored  the 
coast  in  1614.  In  1616  De  Laet  sketched  a  map  of  the  coast  from 
the  journal  of  Captain  Block,  in  which  the  Pawcatuck  is  denomi- 
nated East  river,  the  mouth  of  which  Block  mentions  as  "  a 
crooked  point  in  the  shape  of  a  side,  behind  which  is  a  small 
stream  or  inlet."  The  Dutch  evidently  ascended  the  Pawcatuck 
in  their  explorations  as  far  as  Pawcatuck  Rock.  Ninigret,  the 
Indian  sachem,  favored  the  Dutch  traffic  and  for  gain  and  pro- 
tection he  formed  a  temporary  compact  with  the  Dutch  of  New 
Netherlands,  now  New  York.  This  alliance  was  in  existence  in 
1650.  At  that  time  a  harbor  existed  on  the  shore  east  of  Watch 
Hill,  now  known  as  Quonocontaug  pond.  It  is  also  evident  that 
the  Pawcatuck  once  debouched  into  the  ocean  near  Watch  Hill 
point,  instead  of  wi-nding  away  to  the  westward,  as  at  present, 
toward  Stonington  borough.  Dutch  keels  anciently  entered 
Quonocontaug  pond;  and  as  late  as  1794  it  was  proposed  to  open  it 
by  diverting  the  Pawcatuck  by  a  canal  into  it,  the  colony  offering 
to  pay  two-thirds  of  the  expense.  The  change  in  the  river's 
mouth  occurred  before  the  coast  was  possessed  by  the  whites, 
yet  a  breach  through  the  sand  ridge  remained  till  the  beginning 
of  the  present  century. 

John  and  Mary  Lawton  Babcock  were  probably  the  first  white 
settlers  in  Westerly.  Rhode  Island  was  then  known  by  its  In- 
dian name,  Misquamicut.  The  first  really  historic  band  of  Euro- 
peans that  trod  the  ancient  wilderness  here  was  the  military 
force  of  Captain  John  Mason  on  their  hazardous  march  to  the 
attack  upon  the  Pequot  fort  at  Mystic.  On  the  24th  of  May,  1637, 
the  second  night  before  the  battle,  the  hero  band  having  marched 
from  Narragansett  bay,  halted  and  spent  the  night  by  Ninigret's 
fort,  now  Fort  Neck. 

"At  first,"  says  Denison  in  "Westerly  and  Its  Witnesses," 
"Ninigret  hesitated  to  approve  the  perilous  expedition,  but  in 


the  morning  he  gave  to  Captain  Mason  a  detachment  of  his  bow- 
men. A  Christian  minister,  Reverend  Samuel  Stone,  accom- 
panied the  expedition  and  served  with  remarkable  efficiency. 
Hence  from  the  bivouac  of  the  soldier  arose  to  heaven  probably 
the  first  incense  of  intelligent  prayer  ever  publicly  offered  on 
this  soil  to  the  living  and  true  God.  When  the  armed  force  left 
the  encampment  among  the  Niantics  on  the  morning  of  May 
25th,  it  consisted  of  seventy-seven  whites,  sixty  Mohegan  and  Con- 
necticut River  Indians,  about  two  hundred  Narragansetts  and 
nearly  an  equal  number  of  Niantics,  a  body  of  a  little  more  than 
five  hundred  men.  The  day  being  warm,  they  made  a  halt  at 
the  ford  of  the  Pawcatuck  to  refresh  themselves.  This  ford  was 
the  old  Indian  trail  that  crossed  the  river  just  below  the  present 
bridge,  at  the  head  of  tide-water.  The  trusty  guide  of  the  ex- 
pedition was  Wequash,  a  revolted  Pequot  captain.  Stealthily 
they  moved  through  the  wilderness,  and  on  the  evening  of  the 
25th  halted  between  the  famous  Portal  Rocks,  near  the  tide- 
water head  of  Mystic  river.  With  the  break  of  day,  on  the  26th, 
occurred  the  terrible  onset,  with  muskets,  sword  and  flame,  that 
.swept  down  six  hundred  Pequots,  demolished  the  fort,  and  broke 
the  life  of  the  nation.  Mason's  victory  made  his  name  imper- 

The  earliest  efforts  of  Rhode  Island  men  to  purchase  lands  of 
the  Indians  in  Misquamicut,  with  the  exception  of  John  Babcock 
and  one  or  two  others,  seem  to  have  been  made  near  1658  ;  noth- 
ing, however,  of  importance  was  accomplished.  Denison  says  : 
"  The  settlers  of  this  colony  did  not  believe  in  occupying  Indian 
lands  by  right  of  conquest ;  in  all  cases  they  purchased  their 
titles  of  the  aboriginies.  In  1660  a  private  company  was  organ- 
ized in  Newport  for  the  purchase  and  settlement  of  Misquamicut. 
In  the  same  year  another  company  of  sixteen  persons  purchased 
Block  Island  of  the  natives,  the  Manisses  Indians. 

"  We  have  seen  that  a  few  of  the  first  settlers  in  Misquamicut 
were  of  Massachusetts  origin  and  education.  They  joined  the 
settlers  of  Nameaug,  now  New  London,  in  maintaining  public 
worship  under  the  ministry  of  Reverend  Richard  Blinman.  By 
bridle  paths  through  the  unsubdued  wilderness,  fording  the 
streams  and  rivers,  the  scattered  settlers  traveled  to  join  their 
friends  in  public  devotions,  meeting  alternately  at  New  London 
and  Pawcatuck.  In  the  summer,  however,  they  met  midway 
between  these  places,  on  the  western  border  of  the  town  cf 


Stonington,  upon  the  lands  of  Colonel  George  Denison,  under 
the  shade  of  a  giant  pine  tree,  where  now  stands  the  old  Denison 
mansion,  full  two  hundred  years  old,  and  containing  some  of  the 
wood  of  the  sacred  Bethel  tree.  These  Pedobaptists  were  a  kind 
of  Presbyterians,  who  at  last  became  Congregationalists.  In  ref- 
erence to  their  early  meetings,  we  may  quote  the  following 
record  of  the  Connecticut  Assembly  in  1656 :  '  It  is  ordered  by 
this  court,  that  while  the  ministry  is  maintained  at  Pawcatuck,  the 
charge  thereof,  and  the  ministry  at  Pequett,  New  London,  shall 
be  borne  as  the  major  part  of  the  inhabitants  shall  agree  and 
order.'  Reverend  William  Thompson  '  ministered  to  the  Pequots 
at  Mystic  and  Pawcatuck,'  from  1657  to  1663,  aided  pecuniarily 
by  the  Society  for  the  Propagation  of  the  Gospel  in  New  England. 
The  Pawcatuck  families  of  Massachusetts  origin  finally  attended 
upon  the  ministry  of  Reverend  James  Noyes,  the  first  settled 
minister  of  Stonington.  Yet  meetings  were  occasionally  held  in 
Westerly,  in  the  private  houses  of  the  settlers.  The  first  Con- 
gregational church  in  Stonington  was  not  organized  till  June, 

"  Would  that  we  could  look  back  and  see  the  first  white  fami- 
lies, that  came  by  boat  along  the  coast,  or  by  Indian  trails  through 
the  deep  forests,  and  made  the  first  clearings  in  the  dense  wil- 
derness. To  look  into  their  log  houses,  sometimes  half  beneath 
the  earth,  and  half  above,  thatched  often  with  slabs  and  bark, 
rarely  furnished  with  windows,  having  furniture  manufactured 
with  ax,  saw  and  auger,  to  follow  them  in  their  labor  in  subduing 
the  wild,  would  induce  us  to  thankfully  cherish  their  names  and 
their  deeds.  What  strangers  are  we  to  their  toils  and  perils  and 
sacrifices.  Alas !  that  even  the  graves  of  these  pioneers  have 
been  suffered  to  be  neglected,  and  many  of  them  wholly  for- 
gotten. Nor  did  any  among  them  aspire  to  the  office  of  an 
annalist.  Could  some  record,  even  a  rude  journal  kept  among 
them,  now  be  found,  how  eagerly  and  thankfully  would  it  be 

"  On  the  21st  of  March,  1661,  eighty  members  of  a  company  drew 
up  and  subscribed  '  Articles  of  Agreement '  which  were  some- 
what enlarged  with  '  Acts  and  Orders '  in  July  and  September 
following.  '  The  deed  and  all  other  writings  '  were  '  kept  in  Wil- 
liam Vaughan's  house.'  The  land  was  first  held  in  six  shares,  by 
William  Vaughan,  Robert  Stanton,  Hugh  Mosher,  John  Fairfield, 
James  Longbottom^and  Shubael  Painter.    These  sold  to  the  other 


members  of  the  company.  The  six  original  shares  were  valued 
at  seven  pounds  each.  The  first  occupants  under  the  purchase 
appear  to  have  entered  upon  the  lands  about  the  1st  of  Septem- 
ber, 1661.  But  of  those  who  first  meditated  settlement  in  this 
month,  '  all  failed  except  Toby  Saunders,  Robert  Burdick  and 
Joseph  Clarke,  Jun.'     Others,  however,  soon  joined  them. 

"  Immediately  upon  the  removal  of  the  first  proprietors  to  this 
region,  difficulties  arose  with  Connecticut  and  Massachusetts  in 
respect  to  jurisdiction.  The  purchasers  were  sustained  by  the 
royal  charter  given  the  colony  in  1643,  and  by  the  deed  obtained 
of  Sosoa." 

But  the  adjacent  colonies,  envious  and  hostile  to  Rhode  Island, 
in  order  to  enforce  their  claims,  seized  Robert  Burdick  and 
Tobias  Saunders,  and  confined  them  in  prison  at  Boston  till  they 
should  pay  a  fine  of  forty  pounds  and  give  security  in  one  hun- 
dred pounds  for  their  future  good  conduct ;  and  other  acts  of 
hostility  were  performed  by  Massachusetts  and  Connecticut 
detrimental  to  the  new  company,  but  few  of  whom,  however, 
because  of  the  difficulties,  were  deterred  from  becoming  actual 

"  It  will  be  proper  here  to  give  some  account  of  the  purchase 
of  the  original  township,  and  the  measures  adopted  in  the  first 

Petition  to  Assembly. 

"  '  To  the  Honorable  Gentlemen  of  the  Cotirt  of  Commissioners  assem- 
bled together  in  his  Majesty  s  name,  for  the  colony  of  Providence 
Plantations  at  Portsmouth,  the  27  th  of  August,  1661. 
"  '  Please  ye  honored  gentlemen  :  There  being  an  opportunity 
or  presentment  of  a  certain  piece  or  tract  of  land,  lately  discov- 
ered or  made  known,  which  tract  of  land  lyeth  in  a  situation  in 
the  furdest  or  remotest  corner  of  this  colony's  jurisdiction,  called 
by  the  name  of  Ascomicutt ;  which  tract  of  land  is  fairly  promised 
to  a  certain  number  of  Adventurers  upon  the  design  of  pur- 
chasing it ;  which  adventurers  are  members  of  this  colony,  and 
-well  wishers  thereto,  who  desire  to  do  nothing  that  shall  prove 
prejudicial  to  the  interest  and  honor  of  the  colony's  privileges 
or  advancement;  but  are  now  confronted  by  adversaries  which, 
by  a  species  of  intrusion,  are  seeking  to  make  inroads  upon  our 
privileges  of  colonies'  jurisdiction ;  these  premises  considered, 
your  petitioners  are  bold,  under  correction,  to  pray,  in  case  we 


can  make  the  adversary,  which  is  both  to  the  colony  and  to  us, 
to  retreat,  which  we  question  not  in  point  of  right  and  title  from 
the  natives  ;  therefore,  we  being  willing  to  proceed  in  all  points 
of  loyalty  that  may  suit  with  the  advance  and  honor  of  the 
colony,  we  humbly  crave  your  favorable  approbation,  countenance 
and  assistance  to  us  in  the  settling  of  a  plantation  or  township  in 
or  upon  the  above  said  tract  of  land,  called  by  the  name  of  As- 
comicutt ;  which  number  of  persons  may  probably  extend  to  30, 40, 
or  50,  or  thereabouts;  which  thence  are  to  inhabit;  thereof  many 
are  persons  constrained  to  make  inquisition  and  seek  out  land  for 
a  comfortable  livelihood.  So,  honored  gentlemen,  if  it  be  your 
pleasure  to  grant  your  petitioners'  request,  as  we  are,  so  we  sub- 
scribe and  remain,  your  humble  petitioners  and  servants,  to  our 
power,  for  ourselves,  and  in  the  behalf  of  the  rest  of  our 

William  Vahan  (his  X  mark).     Caleb  Carr. 

John  Coggeshall.  James  Rogers  (his  I.  R.  mark). 

John  Crandall.  Joseph  Torry. 

Hugh  Mosher.  John  Cranston.' 

James  Barker. 

"  In  this  petition  are  discovered  the  foreshadowings  of  litiga- 
tions relative  to  the  boundaries.  The  purchase  rested  on  the  fol- 
lowing deed  : — 

"  '  A  Copy  of  the  Purchase  of  Sosoa,  the  true  Owner  of 


"  '  This  deed  or  writing,  bearing  date  this  present  twenty-ninth 
day  of  June,  one  thousand  six  hundred  and  sixty,  witnesseth, 
that  I,  Sosoa,  an  Indian  captain  of  Narragansett,  being  the  true 
and  lawful  owner  of  a  tract  of  land  called  Misquamicut,  for  a 
valuable  consideration  in  hand  paid  to  my  content,  having  bar- 
gained and  sold  unto  William  Vaughan,  Robert  Stanton,  John 
Fairfield,  Hugh  Mosher,  James  Longbottom,  all  of  Newport,  in 
Rhode  Island,  and  others  their  associates,  which  said  tract  of  land 
being  bounded  as  foUoweth  :  Easterly  by  a  place  called  Weeca- 
paug  or  Passpatanage,  joining  to  Niantic  land ;  on  the  south  by 
the  main  sea ;  on  the  west  by  Pawcatuck  River,  and  so  up  the 
chief  river  or  stream  northerly  and  northeasterly  to  a  place  called 
Quequatuck  or  Quequachonocke  ;  and  from  thence  on  a  straight 
line  to  the  first  named  bounds  called  Weecapaug  or  Pachatanage; 
joining  upon  the  Niantic  land,  as  above  said ;  which  said  tract 


of  land,  so  butted  and  bounded  as  aforesaid,  I,  the  said  Sosoa,  do 
for  myself,  my  heirs,  executors,  administrators,  and  assigns,  sur- 
render up  all  right,  title,  claim  or  interest  whatsoever  to  the 
land,  &c.  &c. 

The  mark  of  [  \  ]  Sosoa. 
Sealed,  signed  in  presence  of 

Jeremy  Clarke. 

Latham  Clarke. 

Henry  Clarke. 

AwASHWASH  his  mark. 

The  mark  Wo  df  NucuM,  Interpreter. 

George  Webb. 

George  Gardiner. 
The  title  was  confirmed  by 




Wawaloam  (wife  of  Miantonomi). 




"  'A  copy  of  Wawaloam,  the  wife  of  Miantonomv,  her 
affirmation  and  confirmation  of  Socho,  alias  SossoA,  his 
deed  and  grant. 

"  '  ASPANAUSUCK  or  Hakewamepixke, 
the  25th  June,  1661. 

"  '  Know  all  men  by  these  presents,  or  whom  it  may  concern, 
that  I,  Wawaloam,  which  was  the  wife  of  the  deceased  Sachem, 
Miantonomy,  do  thus  testify  and  affirm  of  my  perfect  knowledge : 
I  did  hear  my  husband  Miantonomy,  as  also  my  uncle  Canonicus, 
both  of  them  joyntly  dispose,  give  and  pass  over  a  tract  of  land 
named  Misquamicuk  to  a  valorous  Captain  named  Socho  ;  this 
tract  of  land  it  is  bounded  as  foUoweth :  on  the  east  corner  by  a 
place  called  Weecapaug  or  Pespataug,  joyning  to  the  Nahanticut 
land,  by  the  salt  sea,  which  is  about  10  miles  from  Pawcatuck 
River,  this  bound  is  the  southeast  corner  ;  and  on  the  south  side 
bounded  with  the  main  ocean,  from  the  first  bounds  westerly  to 
the  mouth  of  Pawcatuck  River ;  and  from  the  mouth  of  Pawca- 
tuck River  bounded  by  Pawcatttck  River,  which  is   the  west 


bounds  of  this  tract  of  land,  and  so  up  the  chief  river  or  stream 
of  Pawcatuck  River,  northerly  and  northeasterly  about  15  miles 
from  the  mouth  of  Pawcatuck  River,  up  to  a  place  called  Quequa- 
tuck  ;  and  from  this  northeast  corner  bounds  it  is  bounded  upon 
a  line  southeast  to  the  southeast  corner,  which  is  by  the  main 
ocean  joining  to  the  Nianticut  land,  as  it  is  above  named,  Wee- 
capaug,  or  Passpatanage  ;  this  land  thus  bounded,  be  it  20,000 
acres  more  or  less,  I,  Wawaloam,  do  affirm  it  to  be  Socho's  or  his 
assigns ;  and  further,  whereas  my  uncle  Ninigrad  sayeth  that 
it  is  his  land,  I,  Wawaloam,  do  utterly  deny  it  before  all  men,  for 
it  was  conquered  by  my  husband,  Miantonomy,  and  my  uncle 
Canonicus,  long  before  the  English  had  any  wars  with  the 
Pequots,  therefore,  I,  Wawaloam,  do  really  confirm  it,  and  affirm 
it  to  be  Socho's  land,  his  heirs,  executors,  administrators  or  as- 
signs forever,  from  all  others  whatsoever. 

"  '  Witness  my  hand  and  seal  the  year  and  day  above  written. 

The  mark  of  [bow  and  arrow]  Wawaloam  [l.  s.]  '  " 

In  the  year  1669  the  whole  region  then  embraced  by  Westerly 
contained  only  about  thirty  families.  These  during  this  year, 
in  May,  1669,  by  an  act  of  the  colony  were  incorporated  and  the 
township  of  Westerly  received  its  name.  Copying  from  the  town 
records  we  find : 

"  A  List  of  the  Free  Inhabetants  of  the  Towne  of  Westerle, 
May  18th,  1669  :  John  Crandall,  Edward  Larkin,  Stephen  Wilcox, 
John  Lewis,  James  Cross,  Jonathan  Armstrong,  John  Maxson, 
Jeffree  Champion,  Sen.,  John  Fairfield,  Danniel  Cromb,  Nickolas 
Cottrell,  Shubael  Painter,  Tobias  Saunders,  Robert  Burdick, 
John  Randall,  John  Matkoon,  John  Sharp,  Danniel  Stanton,  James 
Babcock,  Sen.,  Thomas  Painter,  James  Babcock,  Jun.,  John  Bab- 
cock,  Job  Babcock,  Josiah  Clark." 

The  colony  immediately  appointed  John  Crandall  and  Tobias 
Saunders  "conservators  of  his  Majesty's  peace,"  with  power  to 
summon  juries  and  hold  courts. 

To  these  twenty-four  men  was  committed  the  guardianship  of 
a  territory,  mostly  a  dense  forest  traversed  only  by  trails,  twenty 
miles  in  length  and  ten  in  breadth.  No  sooner  had  these  few 
scattered  settlers  been  incorporated  than  the  dark,  dread  storm 
known  as  King  Philip's  war  began  to  gather,  and  the  cruelties 
and  treacheries  of  that  sanguinary  struggle  dispersed  the  pioneer 
occupants  of  the  soil  and  obliged  them  to  take  shelter  again  in 


Newport.  No  deputies  appeared  from  the  town  in  tlie  general  as- 
sembly for  five  years. 

In  1667  Queen  Anne's  road  was  begun.  It  was  not,  however, 
at  first  known  by  that  name,  and  extended  only  from  New  Lon- 
don to  the  Pawcatuck  river.  At  a  later  date  it  was  extended 
through  the  Narragansett  country  to  Newport,  and  opened  prior 
to  1705,  probably  about  1703,  as  Queen  Anne  came  to  the  throne 
in  1702  and  died  in  1714. 

In  1686  the  name  of  Westerly  was  changed  to  Haversham  by 
the  king's  court  of  commissioners,  but  in  1689  the  proper  name 
of  the  town,  owing  to  the  unsupported  administration  of  Sir 
Edmund  Andros,  returned  to  the  records.  In  1690  the  defenseless 
settlers  being  seized  with  fear  because  of  the  attack  of  a  French 
fleet  of  pirates  upon  the  inhabitants  of  Block  Island,  a  force  of 
fifty-six  men  under  Captain  DavoU  was  stationed  here  for  de- 

These  few  freemen  stood  over  their  homes  ready  to  defend 
themselves  and  do  all  in  their  power  to  aid  their  exposed  brethren 
in  other  colonies.  In  the  expedition  fitted  out  in  New  England 
for  the  capture  of  Port  Royal  in  July,  1710,  Westerly  furnished 
twenty  men,  four  of  them  being  Indians. 

"  For  many  years,"  says  Denison,  "  serious  difficulties  were 
experienced  by  the  planters  in  obtaining  cattle  and  horses,  as 
most  of  these  were  necessarily  imported.  Besides  the  heavy  first 
cost,  other  expenses  were  incurred  in  securing  their  lives,  and 
particularly  the  lives  of  the  young,  from  the  depredations  of  the 
wild  beasts.  A  colt  or  a  calf  was  scented  far  and  pleasantly  by 
the  bears.  Every  domestic  animal  had  to  be  folded  at  night. 
The  keeping  of  sheep  was  impracticable  for  many  years.  In 
1696  the  colony  paid  a  bounty  of  ten  shillings  per  head  on  wolves. 
In  1697,  the  authorities  of  Westerly  voted  'twenty  shillings  in 
money  to  an  Englishman,  and  ten  shillings  to  an  Indian,  for 
every  grone  wolfe  that  is  ceht  or  killed.'  So  numerous  were 
bears,  foxes,  wolves  and  wild  cats,  that  the  people  sometimes,  for 
their  own  safety  as  well  as  that  of  their  stock,  would  set  apart 
days  in  which  all  the  able-bodied  men,  armed  with  musket,  pouch 
and  horn,  and  accompanied  with  their  deep-mouthed  dogs,  would 
unite  and  '  drive '  the  forests,  hills  and  swamps  to  diminish  the 
insatiate  carnivora.  The  baying  of  hounds,  the  sounding  of 
horns,  the  reports  of  muskets,  the  rallying  calls  from  hill  to  val- 
ley, and  the  shouts  of  pursuit,  onset  and  success — all  would  pre- 


sent  a  scene  and  an  excitement  rivaling  not  simply  the  old  hunts, 
but  the  old  tournaments  and  tales  of  border  life  in  the  days  of 
chivalry  and  romance.  These  hunting  days  not  only  relieved 
the  settlers'  homes  of  many  of  their  enemies,  but  they  also  sup- 
plied important  needs  of  clothing.  And  the  deer  of  the  country 
furnished  deliciou.s  meat  as  well  as  serviceable  apparel. 

"The  hitherto  imperfectly  drawn  boundary  line  between 
Kingstown  and  Westerly  was  satisfactorily  adjusted  in  1695. 

"  To  this  trying  and  perilous  period  of  French  and  Indian  wars 
in  the  country  belongs  the  romantic,  traditional  reports  of  the 
self-reliant  and  heroic  Mrs.  Sims  (known  to  fame  as  '  Nanny 
Sims').  Her  husband  was  away  in  the  armies  of  the  Crown  for 
the  defense  of  the  colonies  ;  the  good  wife  was  alone  in  her 
dwelling ;  the  house  was  attacked  by  three  savages ;  the  door 
bars  withstood  them.  At  length  two  of  the  assailants  scaled  the 
house,  and  began  to  descend  the  great  chimney,  while  the  third 
endeavored  to  break  his  way  through  a  window.  It  was  difficult 
to  parry  such  attacks  at  two  points.  But  the  cool,  courageous 
Nanny  was  equal  to  the  hour.  She  seized  her  straw  bed  and 
threw  it  into  the  broad  fire-place  upon  the  brands.  The  smoke 
and  flames  instantly  sent  the  savages,  singed  and  suffocating,  from 
the  chimney-top.  She  then  grasped  her  ax  and  addressed  her- 
self to  the  barbarian  who  had  just  broken  through  the  window. 
With  a  well-aimed  blow  she  stunned  him,  and  then  calmly  fin- 
ished her  work  by  chopping  off  his  head.  The  house  in  which 
this  tragedy  occurred  stood  near  what  is  now  styled  '  Irish  Plain,' 
about  three-fourths  of  a  mile  southeast  of  Red  brook.  The  cel- 
lar of  the  house  is  still  pointed  out." 

After  the  downfall  of  Philip,  intercourse  was  opened  again  be- 
tween Westerly,  Newport  and  Providence.  Persons  and  families 
began  to  return  again  to  their  homes.  But  roads  being  uncut, 
and  the  rivers  being  unbridged,  the  pioneers  labored  under 
great  difficulties  and  privations.  At  first  they  could  have  neither 
school  houses  nor  meeting  houses,  and  but  few  and  small  public 
assemblies.  Their  log  and  block  houses  were  their  castles,  their 
school  rooms  their  sanctuaries  till  nearly  the  close  of  the  century. 

Doctor  Joshua  Babcock  was  a  distinguished  citizen  of  Westerly, 
and  was  the  friend  and  correspondent  of  Doctor  Franklin.  Doc- 
tor Babcock  was  born  in  Westerly  in  the  year  1707.  He  was 
graduated  from  Yale  College,  and  soon  after  commenced  the 
study  of  physic  and  surgery  in  Boston,  and  afterward  went  to 


England  to  complete  his  education.  He  settled  in  his  native 
town,  where  he  soon  obtained  an  extensive  practice.  He  soon 
after  opened  as  extensive  a  retail  country  store  as  any  between 
New  York  and  Boston.  He  was  likewise  much  in  public  busi- 
ness. As  chief  justice  of  the  supreme  court  of  the  state  he  pro- 
nounced the  sentence  of  death  on  the  notorious  Thomas  Carter 
for  the  murder  of  Jackson. 

One  of  the  most  striking  features  of  Doctor  Babcock's  character 
was  his  observance  of  method  in  everything  pertaining  to  his 
business,  his  style  of  living,  amusements  and  devotions.  He  was 
an  early  riser,  and  gave  a  morning  hour  to  his  farm.  His  break- 
fast was  bread  and  milk,  with  some  apple  pie  or  fruit  of  the  sea- 
son. At  dinner  he  ate  heartily,  but  always  of  one  dish,  be  it 
roast  or  boiled  fish  or  flesh  ;  and  as  he  began  so  he  ended.  He 
took  cider  as  a  common  beverage,  and  a  temperate  glass  of  good 
wine.  At  tea,  of  which  he  was  very  fond,  he  drank  exactly 
three  cups.  At  a  regular  supper  table  he  confined  himself  in- 
variably to  his  porringer  of  bread  and  milk.  At  the  close  of  the 
week  his  family  were  called  into  the  sitting  room  to  hear  a 
chapter  from  the  Bible  and  a  prayer.  Doctor  Babcock  was  a  Greek 
scholar,  and  the  book  used  at  these  devotional  exercises  was 
printed  in  that  language.  He  was  the  father  of  Colonel  Harry 
Babcock,  whose  sketch  will  be  found  in  another  place. 


The  following  copied  from  the  town  records  gives  "  A  list  of 
all  ye  Freemen  of  Westerly  Town  from  the  first  settlement 
thereof  to  1727: 

John  Crandall.  Joseph  Dwell. 

Tobias  Saunders.  Joseph  Crandall. 

Edward  Larkin.  James  Lewis. 

Robert  Burdick.  Capt.  James  Pendleton. 

Stephen  Willcocks.  Joshua  Holens. 

John  Randal.  Hoop  Chapman. 

John  Lewis.  John  Maxon,  Jr. 

John  Mackoon.  Benjamin  Burdick. 

James  Cass.  Joseph  Maxon. 

John  Thorp.  James  Babcock,  Jr. 

Jonathan  Armstrong.  Henry  Halls,  Jr. 

Daniel  Stanton.  Edward  Larkin,  Jr. 

John  Maxon.  Thomas  Rennalls. 



James  Babcock. 
Jafrey  Champlin. 
Thomas  Painter. 
John  Fairfield. 
James  Babcock,  Jr. 
Daniel  Crumb. 
John  Babcock. 
Nicholas  Cottrell. 
Job  Babcock. 
Shuball  Painter. 
Joseph  Clarke. 
George  Lanfear. 
Richard  Swait. 
Jafrey  Champlin,  Jr. 
Henry  Halls,  Sen. 
John  Lewis,  Jr. 
Garshum  Cottrell. 
William  Champlin. 
Peter  Crandall. 
Christopher  Champlin. 
James  Crandall. 
David  Lewis. 
James  Bliven. 
George  Babcock. 
Samuel  Clarke. 
Nicholas  Utter. 
Edward  Blavin. 
John  Wells. 
Theodaty  Rhodes. 
Roger  Larkin. 
John  Johnson. 
John  Clarke. 
Joseph  Pendleton. 
James  Noyes. 
William  Ross. 
John  HoUoway. 
Samuel  HoUoway. 
Benjamin  HoUoway. 
Solomon  Hakes. 
Ebor  Crandall. 
William  Clarke. 

John  Davis. 
John  Babcock. 
Joseph  Pemberton. 
Thoinas  Stephens. 
Joseph  Clarke,  Jr. 
James  Halls. 
Caleb  Pendleton. 
George  Brown. 
David  Lewis. 
Israel  Lewis. 
Richard  Lanphear. 
Nicholas  Satterly. 
Thomas  Wells,  Sen. 
Thomas  Wells,  Jr. 
Samuel  Lewis. 
Thomas  Burdick. 
Edward  Willcocks. 
John  Eanoss. 
Shadrack  Lanfeare. 
John  Maccoon. 
John  Larkin. 
John  Cottrill. 
John  Loveliss. 
Peter  Crandall,  Jr. 
Daniel  Babcock. 
Jonathan  Brown. 
William  Davis. 
Joseph  Crandall. 
Thomas  Morhouse. 
John  Lewis,  Jr. 
Samuel  Allen. 
Joseph  Stanton. 
Joseph  Johnson. 
Tobias  Brand. 
William  Champlin. 
Edward  Blaven. 
William  James. 
Benjamin  Saunders. 
Daniel  Babcock. 
-  John  Lewis,  Jr.  (John  Lewis' 



JoTin  Witter. 
Phillip  Palmiter. 
Jonathan  Maxon. 
Hubbard  Burdick. 
Francis  Colgrove. 
Edward  Halls. 
Isaac  Thompson. 
George  Stillman. 
John  Hill. 
Nathaniel  Wells. 
Peter  Worden. 
Job  Babcock,  Jr. 
James  Covey. 
Thomas  Utter. 
Thomas  Clarke. 
Thomas  Hiscox. 
Nicholas  Satterly. 
James  Bemiss. 
Samuel  Babcock. 
Stephen  Willcox. 
Edward  Willcox. 
John  Maccoon,  Jr. 
Joseph  Maxon,  Jr. 
Thomas  Burdick,  Jr. 
Edward  Saunders. 
Stephen  Saunders. 
Thomas  Brand. 
Thomas  Wells. 
Josiah  Hill. 
Joseph  Renals. 
William  Davell,  Jr. 
Thomas  Stanton. 
Daniel  Stanton. 
Samuel  Burdick. 
Robert  Burdick. 
John  Maxon,  Jr.,  2d. 
Christopher  Champlin,  ye  3d. 
Stephen  Willcox,  son  to  Ste- 
David  Kinyon. 

Thomas  Lillebridge. 
James  Rogers. 
Thomas  Rogers. 
John  Moor. 
Peter  Button,  Jr. 
Richard  Dake. 
William  Knowls. 
Joseph  Hadrall. 
Joseph  Cross. 
John  Webster. 
Jeremiah  Boss. 
Jonathan  Kinyon. 
Caleb  Pendleton. 
Old  Mr.  John  Kinyon. 
William  Bentley. 
John  Bentley. 
Isaac  Sheffield. 
John  Baker. 
Samuel  Wilboure. 
Benjamin  Rennalls. 
Robert  Astin. 
John  Larkin. 
James  Halls. 
Francis  Colgrove. 
Joseph  James. 
Stephen  Richmond. 
Gideon  Hoxie. 
Robert  Babcock. 
Israel  Lewis. 
Nathaniel  Lewis. 
Daniel  Greenell. 
Mathias  Button. 
John  Hoxsie,  Jr. 
Stephen  Babcock. 
George  Havens. 
Benjamin  Brown. 
Samuel  Cottrill. 
John  Pooley. 
Joseph  Kinyon. 
Samuel  Barber." 


From  the  town  records  we  extract  the  following : 

"  On  a  training  day  June  ye  25th,  1702,  held  in  Westerle  att  a 

public  place  at  the  house  of  John  Davis  the  proclamation  of  her 

Royall  Majtye  Ann  Queen  of  England  etc.  Was  Read  according 

to  the  Gov'r  warrant  With  the  Greatest   Decency  and  Demon. 

stration  of  joye,  as  the  afore  s'd  Towne  was  capable  In  Obeying 

ye  above  s'd  Warrant. 

"  Joseph  Pendleton  Towne  Clerk." 

"  Mar.  9,  1708.— Voted  That  every  householder  shall  kill  or 
cause  to  be  killed,  twelve  black  birds  or  pay  twelve  pence  instead 
thereof ;  viz :  old  black  birds  that  can  fly,  &c.  to  begin  ye  first  of 
April  and  to  continue  till  the  last  of  May  &c." 

"  Mrch  1718.  We  doe  hereby  Inact  &c.  that  any  person  or  per- 
sons that  will  or  shall  kill  any  wild  cat  or  fox  or  wild  catts  or 
foxis  shall  be  payed  for  thare  Killing  of  them  three  shillings 
pr  head,  out  of  the  town's  treasury,  etc." 

"  Mar.  24  1701-2     Six  Indians  were  drowned  at  Pawcatuck." 

"  July  4  1702  A  great  storm  of  thunder  and  hail  was  not 
melted  in  three  days  and  killed  much  corn  and  other  grain,  and 
some  cattel  and  fouls." 

"  July  19,  1702     The  privatears  went  from  Roadisland." 

"  Sep  25,  1702     The  privateers  canie  home  from  their  prizes." 

"  June  2,  1706.     French  took  a  sloop. 

3  The  Town  in  arms. 

4  Capt.  Wanton  took  the  sloops  both  again." 
"  Jan  23  1707    Wolf  hunting  day." 

"  June  18,  1708     The  French  at  Block  Island." 

"  May  16,  1709     Soldiers  pressed  for  Canadee." 

Under  date  of  September  26th,  1748,  in  the  case  of  a  person 
styled  "  a  transient,"  who  had  disregarded  the  public  warnings 
to  leave  the  town  it  was  voted  "  That  the  officer  shall  take  the 
s<i  — (person)  forthwith  to  some  publick  place  in  this  town  and 
strip  him  from  the  waist  upward  &  whyp  him  twenty  strypes  well 
laid  on  his  naked  back  and  then  by  s<i  officer  transported  out  of 
this  town,"  etc. 

The  winter  of  1740-1  is  reported  as  being  extremely  severe. 
There  were  this  year  more  than  thirty  snow  storms,  besides 
small  flights  not  worth  mentioning.  The  snow  on  a  level  in  the 
woods  was  supposed  to  be  three  feet  deep  on  the  10th  of  March. 
A  great  loss  of  both  cattle  and  sheep  was  reported  and  squirrels 
and  birds  were  found  frozen  to  death.  Deer  were  found  dead 
near  the  springs. 


The  "dark  and  yellow  day  appeared  May  ye  19,  1780." 
"  April  ye  9,  1785— Snow  four  feet  7^  inches  deep." 
"May  29  1790.  Constitution  adopted  by  Rhode  Island." 
An  instance  of  public  whipping-  occurred  on  a  farm  near 
Worden's  pond  near  1820.  A  black  man  residing  in  Westerly 
passed  into  Stonington  and  stole  a  number  of  turkeys.  Traced 
in  the  light  snow  to  his  retreat  and  arrested,  he  was  brought 
before  Doctor  William  Robinson,  then  serving  as  justice,  who 
sentenced  him  to  be  publicly  whipped.  He  was  tied  to  a  tavern 
sign  post  at  the  west  end  of  the  bridge.  No  cowhide  being- 
available  a  man  was  sent  to  Mr.  Rowse  Babcock's  woods  for  a 
good  hickory  sapling.  The  thirteen  lawful  stripes  were  duly  and 
faithfully  administered  by  Mr.  Clark  Thompson.  The  large 
crowd,  and  especially  all  the  owners  of  poultry,  indorsed  the 
operation  of  the  law.  The  culprit  immediately  left  this  region 
of  country. 

In  1830  the  last  public  whipping  in  this  town  occurred.  It  was 
the  case  of  one  who  had  stolen  sheep.  The  trial  and  conviction 
took  place  at  the  Gavitt  House,  a  little  north  of  the  Red  brook. 
At  that  time  this  place  was  both  an  inn  and  a  place  where  town 
meetings  were  held.  The  thief  was  sentenced  to  receive  nine- 
teen stripes  on  his  bare  back.  He  was  stripped  and  tied  to  a 
large  buttonwood  tree  in  front  of  the  inn.  The  sheriff,  Colonel 
Isaac  Gavitt,  dealt  the  stripes  that  freely  drew  the  blood.  A  large 
and  excited  crowd  of  spectators  witnessed  the  scene,  while  the 
rogue  loudly  and  tearfully  bewailed  his  lot. 

The  first  piano  in  the  town  was  introduced  in  1830.  It  be- 
longed to  Miss  Martha  B.  Cross,  afterward  Mrs.  Babcock. 

In  speaking  of  eccentric  individuals  Mr.  Denison  thus  describes 
a  singular  character  who  lived  about  forty  years  ago :  '  He  was 
a  native  of  the  town,  and  his  father  lived  where  now  stands  the 
residence  of  Mr.  Pardon  Lewis.  He  bore  the  name  of  David 
Wilbur,  and  lived  unmarried,  a  recluse,  a  dweller  in  forests,  with- 
out house  or  home  after  his  father's  death.  Seemingly  gifted, 
but  wholty  uneducated,  extremely  eccentric,  afraid  of  all  human 
kind,  even  of  children,  he  was  commonly  called  '  the  wild  man.' 
Having  studied  the  stars,  and  the  signs  of  the  clouds  and  winds, 
he  was  proverbially  weatherwise,  and  was  popularly  named  '  the 
astronomer.'  In  summer  he  lived  chiefly  on  berries  and  fruits, 
and  slept  in  a  swamp  by  the  side  of  a  large  rock,  having  an  old 
door  as  a  kind  of  roof,  and  a  bundle  of  flax  for  a  pillow.    In  win- 


ters  he  fed  on  nuts,  roots,  such  grain  as  he  had  stored,  and  such 
game  as  he  could  entrap.  He  would  sometimes  take  refuge  in  a 
barn  or  shed,  but  rarely  consented  to  enter  a  house.  Though  he 
traversed  quite  a  region,  he  seldom  allovv^ed  himself  to  be  seen. 
In  passing  through  the  fields  of  the  farmers  he  displayed  a 
singular  penchant  for  scratching  numbers,  signs  and  figures  on 
the  pumpkins.  The  cause  of  his  abnormal  life  seems  never  to 
have  been  known.  He  is  supposed  to  have  died  at  the  age  of 
seventy,  and  was  buried  on  the  farm  now  occupied  by  William 
P.  Taylor,  Esq.,  in  the  Rhodes  Burying  Ground." 

"  The  only  windmill  of  which  Westerly  has  ever  been  able  to 
boast,  lifted  its  octagonal  tapering  form,  its  umbrella-shaped 
head,  and  its  latticed  arms,  near  1850,  on  the  hill  east  of  the  vil- 
lage of  Westerly,  southward  from  the  present  quarry,  near  the 
fork  of  the  public  roads.  The  town,  however,  never  had  occasion 
to  boast  of  this  mill,  for  it  was  as  unprofitable  as  it  was  clumsy 
and  unreliable.  It  was  imported  and  set  up  by  Thomas  G.  Hazard. 
It  was  first  erected  in  the  town  of  Groton,  Conn.,  between  Noank 
and  Mystic  Bridge,  and  afterward  removed  to  Pistol  point,  in 
Stonington,  a  short  distance  below  Mystic  Bridge.  From  the 
latter  place  it  was  transported  to  Westerly.  Here,  as  elsewhere, 
it  proved  a  failure.     In  a  few  years  it  bowed  to  saws  and  axes." 

Roll  of  representatives. — "  As."  stands  for  Assistant ;  and 
"  De."  for  Deputy. 

1669.— As.  Tobias  Saunders. 

1670.— De.  John  Crandall.  De.  Stephen  Wilcocks.  De.  John 
Maxson.    De.  Suball  Paynter.    De.  Nicolas  Cottrell. 

1671.— De.  John  Crandall.     De.  Tobias  Saunders. 

1672.— De.  Tobias  Saunders.  De.  Shuball  Painter.  De.  Stephen 

1673-4-5-6-7. — Town  business  broken  up  by  Philip's  war. 

1678-9.— As.  Joseph  Clarke. 

1680.— As.  Joseph  Clarke.  De.  Tobias  Saunders.  De.  Robert 

1681.— De.  Tobias  Saunders.     De.  Jeffrey  Champlin. 

1682.— De.  Jeffrey  Champlin.     De.  John  Badcocke. 

1683.— De.  Tobias  Saunders.     De.  Robert  Burdick. 

1684.— De.  Jeffrey  Champlin.     De.  John  Badcocke. 

1685.— De.  Jeffrey  Champlin.     De.  Robert  Burdick. 

1686.— De.  Jeffrey  Champlin.     De.  John  Maxson. 


1686-7-8-9. — Administration  of  Sir  Edmond  Andros;  and 
Westerly  styled  "  Haversham,"  or  "  Feversham." 

1690.— De.  John  Maxon.  De.  Joseph  Clarke.  De.  Tobias 
Saunders.     De.  William  Champlin. 

1691.— De.  Henry  Hall.     De.  Capt.  William  Champlin. 

1692. — De.  Capt.  William  Champlin.     De.  Joshua  Holmes. 

1693. — De.  John  Maxson.     De.  Edward  Wilcocks. 

1694. — De.  Joshua  Holmes.     De.  Joseph  Danell. 

1695. — De.  Capt.  Joseph  Danell.     De.  John  Babcock. 

1696.— De.  Capt.  William  Champlin.     De.  Nicolas  Cottrell. 

1697. — De.  Capt.  William  Champlin.     De.  John  Lewis. 

1698. — De.  Joseph  Clarke.   ,De.  Capt.  William  Champlin. 

1699.— De.  Capt.  William  Champlin.     De.  Peter  Crandall. 

1700. — De.  Capt.  William  Champlin.  De.  Joseph  Clarke.  De. 
Lieut.  Peter  Crandall. 

1701. — De.  Capt.  James  Babcock.     De.  Peter  Crandall. 

1702. — As.  Capt.  Edward  Greenman.  De.  Joseph  Clarke.  De. 
William  Gibson.     De.  William  Champlin. 

1703. — De.  Capt.  William  Champlin.  Dg.  Lieut.  Peter  Cran- 
dall.    De.  Capt.  Andrew  Willett.     De.  Benjamin  Greene. 

1704. — De.  Joseph  Clarke.     De.  Lieut.  Peter  Crandall. 

1705. — De.  Capt.  William  Champlin.     De.  John  Maxson. 

1706. — De.  Joseph  Clarke.     De.  William  Champlin. 

1706-7. — De.  Capt.  James  Babcock.     De.  Edward  Larking. 

1707. — De.  Capt.  William  Champlin.     De.  John  Saunders. 

1708. — De.  Joseph  Clarke.  De.  Capt.  James  Babcock.  De. 
Joseph  Stanton,  Jun. 

1709. — De.  Capt.  James  Babcock.     De.  Joseph  Crandall. 

1710. — De.  Capt.  William  Champlin.     De.  John  Lewis.     — 

1711.— De.  Capt.  William  Clarke.     De.  Daniel  Lewis.      ^ 

1712. — De.  William  Champlin.     De.  Joseph  Maxson. 

1713. — De.  Capt.  John  Babcock.     De.  John  Saunders. 

1714. — De.  Daniel  Lewis.     De.  Thomas  Hiscox. 

1715. — De.  Daniel  Brown.  De.  Capt.  Joseph  Stanton.  De.  Capt. 
John  Babcock.     De.  Edwin  Larkin. 

1716.— As.  Samuel  Clarke.  De.  John  Hill.  De.  George  Bab- 
cock.    De.  James  Babcock. 

1717. — De.  Capt.  John  Babcock.     De.  William  Wilkinson. 

1718. — De.  Capt.  John  Babcock.  De.  Thomas  Hiscox.  De. 
Capt.  Joseph  Stanton. 


1719. — De.  Capt.  Joseph  Stanton.     De.  Isaac  Thompson.     De. 
Samuel  Rogers. 

1720.— De.  Capt.  John  Babcock.     De.  Thomas  Hiscox. 

1721. — De.  Isaac  Thompson.     De.  John  Hill.     De.  Capt.  Joseph 
Stanton.   '  De.  Lieut.  Theodaty  Rhodes. 

1722.— De.  John  Hill.     De.  Isaac  Thomson. 

1723. — De.  Capt.  John  Babcock.     De.  Christ.  Champlin,  Jun. 

1724-5.— De.  Capt.  John  Babcock.    De.  Theodaty  Rhodes.     De. 
Capt.  Joseph  Stanton.     De.  Capt.  John  Hill. 

1726. — De.  Christ.  Champlin,  Jun.     De.  Thomas  Hiscox.     De. 
Major  Joseph  Stanton.     De.  Capt.  John  Hill. 

1727. — De.  Major  Joseph  Stanton.     De.  Thomas  Hiscox.     De. 
Capt.  John  Hill. 

1728. — De.  John  Richmond.     De.  William  Champlin. 

1729,— De.  John  Richmond. 

1730.— De.  Capt.  Oliver  Babcock.     De.  Capt.  William  Clarke. 

1731. — De.  Major  Joseph  Stanton.     De.  William  Champlin. 

1732. — De.  Lieut.-Col.  Joseph  Stanton.     De.  William  Champlin. 

1733. — De.  Col.  Joseph  Stanton.     De.  John  Richmond. 

1734. — De.  Capt.  Oliver  Babcock.     De.  Thomas  Hiscox. 

1735. — De.  Capt.  Oliver  Babcock.     De.  Col.  Joseph  Stanton. 

1736.— De.  Col.  Joseph  Stanton.     De.  Thomas  Hiscox. 

1737. — De.  Capt.  Oliver  Babcock.     De.  Capt.  James  Rogers. 

1738.— De.  Col.  Oliver  Babcock.     De.  Capt.  Christ.  Champlin. 

1739. — De.  Thomas  Hiscox.     De.  Joshua  Babcock. 

1740. — De.  Thomas  Hiscox.     De.  Joshua  Babcock. 

1741.— De.  Thomas  Hiscox.     De.  William  Champlin,  Jun. 

1742.— De.  William  Champlin,  Jun.     De.  Captain  John  Maxon. 

1743.— De.  Capt.  John  Maxson.     De.  William  Hern. 

1744. — De.  Captain  John  Maxson.     De.  William  Babcock. 

1745.— De.  William  Hern.     De.  Captain  Nathaniel  Lewis. 

1746.- De.  William  Hern.     De.  Silas  Greenman. 

1747.— De.  Joshua  Babcock.     De.  Captain  William  Pendleton. 

1748.- De  Joshua  Babcock.     De.  Major  William  Pendleton. 

1749.— De.  Captain  Silas  Greenman.     De.  Joshua  Babcock. 

1750-1.- De.  Colonel  Joseph  Pendleton.     De.  Captain  Caleb 

1752.— De.  Colonel  Oliver  Babcock.     De.  Joshua  Babcock. 

1753.— De.  Joshua  Babcock.     De.  Joshua  Clarke. 

1754.— De.  Major  Joshua  Clarke.     De.  Captain  Benjamin  Ran- 


1755. — De.  Captain  Benjamin  Randall.     De.  Hezekiah  Collins. 

1756-7.— De.  Major  Joseph  Clarice.  De.  Samuel  Ward.  De. 
Captain  Joseph  Stanton. 

1758. — De.  Captain  Joseph  Stanton.     De.  Joshua  Babcock. 

1759. — De.  Joshua  Babcock.     De.  Colonel  Joseph  Pendleton. 

1760. — De.  Joshua  Babcock.     De.  Captain  Nathan  Babcock. 

1761. — De.  Captain  George  Stillman.  De.  Captain  Nathan 

1762. — Governor  Samuel  Ward.  De.  Captain  George  Still- 
man.     De.  James  Babcock,  Jun. 

1763.— De.  Colonel  William  Pendleton.     De.  George  Sheffield. 

1764. — De.  James  Babcock,  Jun.     David  Maxson,  2d. 

1765.— Governor  Samuel  AYard.  De.  Captain  George  Still- 
man.     De.  David  Maxson. 

1766. — Governor  Samuel  Ward.  De.  Major  Edward  Bliven. 
De.  Stephen  Saunders. 

1767. — De.  Joseph  Crandall.     De.  Captain  Edward  Saunders. 

1768. — De.  Joseph  Crandall.     De.  Captain  Matthew  Maxson. 

1769. — De.  Captain  Edward  Saunders.  De.  Joseph  Clarke, 

1770. — De.  James  Rhodes.     De.  Oliver  Babcock. 

1771-2. — De.  James  Rhodes.     De.  Phineas  Clark. 

1773. — De.  Joshua  Babcock.     De.  James  Rhodes. 

1774. — De.  Joshua  Babcock.     De.  Stephen  Saunders. 

1775. — De.  Joshua  Babcock. 

1776. — De.  Major-General  Joshua  Babcock.  De.  Colonel  Joseph 

1777. — De.  Thomas  Ross.     De.  James  Babcock,  Esq. 

1778.— De.  Joshua  Babcock,  Esq. 

1779._De.  Nathan  Barber.     De.  Paul  Clarke. 

1780. — As.  Joshua  Babcock.  De.  Joseph  Noyes,  Esq.  De. 
Samuel  Bliven. 

1781.— De.  David  Maxson,  Esq.     De.  Edward  Bliven,  Esq. 

1782. — De.  Joseph  Noyes,  Esq.     De.  Edward  Bliven,  Esq. 

1783. — De.  Joseph  Noyes,  Esq.     De.  David  Maxson. 

1784-5-6-7-8-9.— De.  Joseph  Noyes,  Esq.     De.  Walter  White. 

1790-1.— De.  Walter  White.     De,  George  Stillman,  Esq. 

1792. — De.  Walter  White,  Esq.     De.  Thomas  Noyes,  Esq. 

1793_4_5_6-7-8-9.— De.  Thomas  Noyes,  Esq.     Rowse  Babcock, 

1800. — De.  Thomas  Noyes,  Esq.     De.  Christopher  Babcock,  2d. 


In  the  following  "  Re."  may  signify  Representative  and  "Se." 

1801-2.— Re.  vSylvester  Gavit.     Re,  William  Rhodes. 

1803-4-5-6-7,— Re.    Sylvester   Gavit.     Re.    Captain    Resolved 

1808-9-10,— Re.  Thomas  Noyes.     Re.  AVilliam  Rhodes,  2d. 

1811-12-13.— Re.  Thomas  Noyes.     Re.  Walter  White. 

1814.— Re,  Walter  White,     Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon. 

1815.— Re.  Nathan  F   Dixon.     Re,  Joseph  M.  Knowles, 

1816,— Re,  Nathan  F.  Dixon.     Re.  Thomas  W.  Potter. 

1817-18.— Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon,     Re,  Thomas  Noyes, 

1819-20,— Nathan  F  Dixon.     Isaac  Champlin. 

1821-2-8.— Nathan  F.  Dixon.     Daniel  Babcock,  Jr. 

1824-5. — Nathan  F,  Dixon,     Isaac  Champlin. 

1826-7.— Nathan  F.  Dixon.     George  D.  Cross. 

1828-9.— Se,  George  D,  Cross.     Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon. .   Re.  Jo- 
seph Potter, 

1830, — Re.  Isaac  Champlin,     Re.  Joshua  Vose.      Re.  Joseph 

1831-2. — Re.  George  D,  Cross,     Re,  Joseph  Chapman, 

1833,— Re.  John  H.  Cross,     Re.  Lyndon  Taylor. 

1834-5. — Re.  George  D.  Cross.     Re.  Lyndon  Taylor.     Re.  John 
H.  Cross. 

1836.— Re.  Clark  Saunders.     Re.  George  W.  Gavitt,  2d. 

1837 — Re,  Lyndon  Taylor,     Re,  Benadam  Frink.     Re,  William 

1838.— Re.  William  C.  Pendleton.     Re.  Benadam  Frink. 

1839.— Re.  Daniel  Babcock,  Jr.     Re.  Welcome  A.  Hoxie.     Re. 
John  Hiscox. 

1840.— Re.  Welcome   A.   Hoxie.     Re.    Stephen   Wilcox.     Re. 
Daniel  Babcock,  Jr. 

1841.— Re.  Jesse  L.  j\loss.      Re,   Edward   W.    Babcock.      Re. 
Nathan  F.  Dixon,  Jr. 

1842. — Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon,  Jr.     Re.  Rowse  Babcock.     Re. 
Joseph  Potter. 

1843-4  5-6.— Se.  Joseph  Potter.     Re,  Nathan  F,  Dixon, 
1847  -8.--Se.  Welcome  A.  Hoxie.     Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon. 
1849.— Se.  George  D.  Cross.     Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon. 
1850.— Se.  George  D.  Cross.     Re.  Joseph  Potter. 
1851.— Se,  Stephen  Wilcox.     Re.  Nathan  F  Dixon. 
1852-3-4.— Se.  Charles  Maxson.     Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon. 


1855. — Se.  Charles  H.  Denison.     Re.  John  E.  Weeden. 

1856.— Se.  Enoch  B.  Pendleton.     Re.  John  E.  Weeden. 

1857.— Se.  Bradford  Bliven.     Re.  Daniel  F.  Larkin. 

1858-9.— Se.  Daniel  F.  Larkin.     Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon. 

I860.— Se.  Charles  H.  Denison.     Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon. 

1861.— Se.  Charles  H.  Denison.     Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon.     Re. 
John  E.  Weeden. 

1862.— Se.  James  M.  Pendleton.     Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon.     Re. 
John  E.  Weeden. 

1863^.— Se.  James.  M.  Pendleton.     Re.  John  E.  Weeden.     Re. 
Rowse  Babcock. 

1865. — Se.  James  M.  Pendleton.    Re.  Edwin  G.  Champlin.    Re. 
John  E.  Weeden. 

1866-7.— Se.  Edwin  G.  Champlin.     Re.  John  E.  Weeden.     Re. 
Thomas  V.  Stillman. 

1868.— Se.  Edwin  G.  Champlin.    Re.  James.  W.  Stillman.     Re. 
Samuel  H.  Cross. 

1869.— Se.  Samuel  H.  Cross.     Re.  John  E.  Weeden.     Re.  John 

1870.— Se.  Samuel  H.  Cross.     Re.  John  E.  Weeden.     Re.  John 

1871.— Se.  Samuel  H.  Cross.     Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon.     Re.  John 

1872.— Se.   Samuel   H.    Cross.      Re.   Nathan    F.    Dixon.      Re. 
Daniel  F.  Larkin. 

1873.— Se.  Samuel  H.  Cross.     Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon.     Re.  J. 
Alonzo  Babcock. 

1874.— Se.  Samuel  H.  Cross.    Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon.    Re.  Nathan 
H.  Lang-worthy. 

1875.— Se.  Samuel  H.  Cross.    Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon.    Re.  Nathan 

1876.— Se.  Samuel  H.  Cross.     Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon.     Re.  J- 
Alonzo  Babcock. 

1877._Se.  Samuel  H.  Cross.     Re.  Nathan  F.  Dixon.     Re.  J. 
Alonzo  Babcock. 

1878.— Se.  Samuel  H.  Cross.     Re.  James  M.  Pendleton.     Re. 
Thomas  H.  Peabody. 

1879.— Se.  Samuel  H.  Cross.     Re.  James  M.  Pendleton.     Re. 
Albert  L.  Chester. 

1880. — Se.  Samuel  H.  Cross.     Re.  James  M.  Pendleton.     Re. 
Albert  L.  Chester,  Jr. 


1881.— Se.  Samuel  H.  Cross.  Re.  James  M.  Pendleton.  Re. 
Albert  L  Chester. 

1882.— -Se.  Samuel  H.  Cross.  Re.  James  M.  Pendleton.  Re. 
Albert  L.  Chester. 

1883.— Se.  Albert  L.  Chester.  Re.  James  M.  Pendleton.  Re. 
Jesse  L.  Moss,  Jr. 

1884.— Se.  Albert  L.  Chester.  Re.  James  M.  Pendleton.  Re. 
Jesse  L.  Moss,  Jr. 

1885.— Se.  Nathan  F.  Dixon.  Re.  Henry  E.  Chamberlin.  Re. 
Geo.  H.  Utter. 

1886.— Se.  Nathan  F.  Dixon.  Re.  Henry  E.  Chamberlin.  Re. 
George.  H.  Utter. 

1887.— Se.  Nathan  F.  Dixon.  Re.  Henry  E.  Chamberlin.  Re. 
George  H.  Utter. 

1888.— Se.  Nathan  F.  Dixon.  Re.  George  H.  Utter.  Re.  Or- 
lando R.  Smith. 

Town  Clerks.— Joseph  Clarke,  from  May,  1669,  to  June,  1700. 

John  Baccock,  to  June,  1702. 

Joseph  Pendleton,  to  June,  1704. 

Joseph  Clarke,  Jr.,  to  June,  1705. 

Joseph  Pendleton,  to  June,  1706. 

John  Babcdck,  to  June,  1732. 

William  Babcock,  to  June,  1751. 

Silas  Greenman,  to  June,  1760. 

Joseph  Crandall,  to  June,  1790. 

Samuel  Bliven,  to  June,  1807. 

Jesse  Maxson,  Jr.,  to  November,  1824. 

Stephen  Wilcox,  Jr.,  to  June,  1830. 

Jesse  Maxson,  to  November,  1844. 

Joseph  W.  Wilcox,  to  June,  1848. 

J.  Hobart  Cross,  to  June,  1853. 

James  M.  Pendleton,  to  June,  1855. 

William  E.  Parkinson,  to  April,  1856. 

Jirah  I.  Gray,  to  April,  1859. 

Samuel  H.  Cross,  to  April,  1883. 

William  Hoxsey. 

Reverend  Thomas  Hiscox  served  the  town  of  Westerly  as 
treasurer  for  sixty  years,  and  on  his  resignation  in  1772  received 
the  "  unanimous  thanks  "  of  the  freemen. 

Town  Officers  of  Westerly  for  the  year  1888  :  Moderator, 
J.  Alonzo  Babcock  ;  town  clerk,  William  Hoxsey ;  town  council 


— B.  Court.  Bentley,  Gideon  T.  Collins,  Albert  H.  Spicer,  William 
B.  Austin,  Isaac  S.  Briggs,  Alexander  G.  Crumb,  Court.  P.  Chap- 
man ;  town  sergeant,  George  G.  Wells ;  town  treasurer  and  col- 
lector, Wm.  Court.  Pendleton ;  superintendent  of  schools,  Rev- 
erend O.  U.  Whitford ;  overseer  of  poor,  Samuel  H.  Cross ; 
assessors — B.  Frank  Clarke,  Harvey  Campbell,  Milo  M.  Clarke, 
G.  S.  Greenman,  C.  H.  Saunders  ;  sealer  of  weights  and  measures, 
Thomas  V.  Stillman  ;  measurers  of  grain — Joseph  H.  Lewis, 
Benjamin  York  ;  auctioneers — Gideon  T.  Collins,  Wanton  W. 
Hoxsey,  Benjamin  York,  Benedict  Crandall,  Dennis  Burdick, 
Jesse  Wilkes,  Walter  P.  Dixon. 

Notes  of  Timothy  Dwight. — Timothy  Dwight,  president  of 
Yale  College,  in  his  travels  through  New  England  in  1822,  speak- 
ing of  the  town  of  Westerly,  says  :  "  About  two  miles  from  Mr. 

D 's  we  crossed  Paukatuc  river,  which  divides  Connecticut 

from  Rhode  Island,  and  Stonington  from  Westerly.  At  the 
bridge  there  is  a  pretty  village  principally  in  Westerly,  contain- 
ing perhaps  twenty  houses.  In  this  village  a  bank  has  lately 
been  established  with  a  capital  of  one  hundred  thousand  dollars, 
which  may  be  increased  to  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand. 
Paukatuc  river  forms  the  only  harbor  in  Westerly,  and  furnishes 
excellent  fisheries  for  bass,  eels,  black  fish,  shad  and  herrings. 
In  the  bay  which  is  formed  at  its  mouth  these  kinds  of  fish  are 
caught  in  as  great  abundance  as  perhaps  in  any  part  of  New 
England.  Long  and  round  clams,  also  oysters,  and  a  little  farther 
out  in  the  sound  lobsters  are  found  in  great  numbers. 

"  The  land  in  this  township  is  divided  into  two  kinds.  The 
border  of  the  sound,  which  is  generally  good ;  and  that  in  the 
interior,  which  is  a  collection  of  hills,  stony,  sandy  and  lean, 
originally  covered  with  shrub  oaks  and  pitch  pines.  This  ground, 
which  constitutes  a  considerable  part  of  the  township,  produces 
scarcely  anything  besides  small  crops  of  rye.  On  the  former  of 
these  tracts  the  inhabitants  are  generally  in  good  circumstances. 
On  the  latter,  though  said  to  be  industrious,  they  are  generally 
and  indeed  necessarily  poor  and  unthrifty.  Except  the  village 
above  mentioned.  Westerly  is  a  collection  of  farms. 

"  There  is  a  good  common  school  near  the  .bridge,  styled  an 
Academy.  There  are  several  other  schools  in  the  township  as 
much  inferior  to  this  as  the  parochial  schools  in  other  parts  of 
New  England  are  to  the  academies. 

"  Immediately  after  leaving  Paukatuc  village  a   traveller  is 


Struck  with  the  sudden  change  of  the  whole  artificial  scenery. 
The  houses,  a  few  excepted,  are  small,  old  and  ragged.  The 
barns  vanish,  and  the  tidy,  thrifty  appearance  of  Connecticut 
ceases.  Everything  indicates  a  want  of  energy,  a  destitution 
of  all  views  and  efforts  towards  improvement;  a  sluggish  ac- 
quiescence in  inconveniences  and  imperfections  which  a  more 
vigorous  disposition  would  easily  remove. 

"  About  one-fourth  of  the  people  of  Westerly  are  supposed  to 
be  Sabbatarians  or  Seventh  Day  Baptists.  Some  of  these  people 
appear  to  be  religious,  and  are  more  distinguished  by  good 
morals  than  most  of  their  neighbors.  The  remainder  are  chiefly 

Smith  Granite  Company. — While  Westerly  is  without  her 
broad  river  valley  and  comparatively  destitute  of  broad  alluvial 
lands,  yet  her  rocks  and  ridges  and  ledges,  once  thought  a  de- 
formity, have  lately  been  transmuted  into  treasures,  and  already 
several  different  quarries  are  yielding  their  crystal  treasures. 
The  varieties  are  white,  blue,  red  and  maculated.  The  fame  of 
these  quarries  has  already  gone  abroad  over  the  whole  country. 

The  first  quarry  was  discovered  in  1845  by  Mr.  Orlando  Smith 
from  certain  boulders  and  rubble  stones  on  the  surface  of  the 
ground.  This  quarry  is  on  the  farm  once  owned  by  Doctor 
Joshua  Babcock,  and  is  on  the  top  of  Rhodes  hill.  In  1846  Mr. 
Smith  bought  the  farm  and  opened  the  quarry.  In  a  few  years 
Mr.  Smith  died  and  the  estate  has  since  been  managed  by  Wil- 
liam A.  Burdick  and  Orlando  R.  Smith.  In  May,  1887,  an  act  of 
incorporation  was  granted  to  them  by  the  general  assembly  of 
Rhode  Island  under  the  name  of  The  Smith  Granite  Company, 
and  the  corporation  was  soon  after  organized  with  a  cash  capital 
actually  paid  in  of  $100,000,  of  which  Mr.  Isaac  G.  Smith  is. presi- 
dent and  Mr.  Orlando  R.  Smith  is  treasurer.  The  company  has 
established  offices  in  Boston,  Providence,  Chicago,  Utica,  N.  Y., 
and  New  Haven,  Conn.,  to  facilitate  its  business  and  to  accomo- 
date its  customers.  It  gives  employment  to  about  three  hundred 
hands,  and  upon  its  premises  are  located  a  large  number  of 
houses,  shops,  sheds,  a  large  granite  store  and  engine  houses 
containing  powerful  engines  for  pumping  and  hoisting  purposes. 
Much  valuable  machinery  has  been  added  in  recent  years  for 
polishing  and  finishing  its  work,  which  is  driven  by  steam,  while 
steam  is  also  used  for  heating  the  various  workshops  and  offices. 
The  monuments  that  are  cut  from  this  quarry,  in  point  of  work- 


manship  and  design  are  unexcelled,  while  it  is  conceded  that  no 
finer  specimens  of  granite  can  be  produced. 

It  is  stated  on  authority  that  the  products  of  this  quarry  excel 
almost  any  other  granite  in  fineness  of  texture,  durability  and 
the  power  of  retaining  their  beauty  under  exposure  to  the  ele- 
ments, while  its  crushing  resistance  exceeds  all  others,  they 
varying  from  six  thousand  to  thirteen  thousand  pounds  per 
square  inch,  and  this  enduring  nineteen  thousand  pounds  per 
square  inch.  These  granites  also  admit  of  a  beautiful  crystal 
polish,  and  its  hues,  according  to  the  views,  vary  from  gray  to 
blue  black.  The  company  also  work  a  second  quarry  of  a  rich 
vein  of  red  granite.  This  is  also  susceptible  to  a  high  polish  and 
in  many  kinds  of  work  can  be  used  with  pleasing  effect.  From 
these  two  quarries  there  have  been  paid  $175,000  annually  to 
workmen.  Monuments  have  been  erected  by  this  company  to 
the  memory  of  such  notable  persons  as  Commodore  Foote,  Gen- 
eral Sedgewick,  General  Rodman,  Doctor  Wayland,  Professor 
Stillman,  Doctor  Draper,  Governor  Washburn  of  Wisconsin;  also 
vaults  for  Jay  Gould,  G.  AV.  Noble  of  Chicago,  E.  J.  Beane  of 
Providence,  Henry  Disston  of  Philadelphia ;  also  the  Williams- 
burg Fire  Insurance  Company's  building  in  New  York  city,  and 
other  works  of  equal  magnitude  and  importance.  These  sub- 
stantial and  beautiful  mines  of  wealth,  as  represented  by  this 
company,  are  important  contributors  to  the  growth  and  pros- 
perity of  this  community,  and  sure  to  give  the  town  of  Westerly 
a  name  and  fame  of  an  abiding  and  enduring  character. 

Rhode  Island  Granite  AVorks  (The  New  England  Granite 
Works,  of  Hartford,  Conn.,  proprietors). — This  second  quarry  is 
directly  northeast  of  the  Smith  Granite  Company's  grounds,  be- 
ing on  lands  adjoining,  and  was  purchased  in  1866  by  Mr.  George 
Ledward.  Ledward  sold  to  J.  G.  Patterson,  and  it  was  then  op- 
erated by  Ledward  &  Patterson,  and  in  1869  Mr.  Patterson 
bought  out  Mr.  Ledward,  and  in  1875  the  company  was  organized 
under  the  statute  laws  of  the  state,  with  Mr.  J.  G.  Patterson  as 
president,  and  the  name  was  changed  to  the  New  England  Gran- 
ite Works,  with  main  office  at  Hartford,  Conn.  An  office  is  also 
established  at  1321  Proadway,  N.  Y.,  one  at  Cleveland,  Ohio,  and 
also  at  other  leading  places  of  the  country.  Of  the  many  monu- 
mental and  ornamental  works  of  art  executed  by  this  company  it 
may  not  be  amiss  to  speak  of  one  or  two.  The  Antietam  Soldier, 
for  the  Antietam  battle  field,  is  regarded  as  one  of  the  finest  co- 


lossal  figures  of  the  kind  in  the  world.  It  was  designed  by  Carl 
Conrads  and  cut  from  a  single  block  of  granite,  which,  when  lift- 
ed from  the  quarry,  weighed  sixty  tons.  The  statue  is  twenty- 
one  feet  six  inches  high,  and  stands  on  a  pedestal  twenty-three 
feet  six  inches  high,  the  height  of  the  whole  being  forty-five 
feet.  This  company  also  erected  the  monument  commemorating 
the  victory  at  Gettysburg. 

The  New  England  Granite  Works,  of  Hartford,  received  the 
contract  for  the  erection  of  the  monument  to  Major-General 
John  E.  Wool  and  wife,  for  which  Major-General  Wool  left  by 
his  will  the  sum  of  $50,000.  It  is  erected  in  Oakwood  cemetery, 
Troy,  N.  Y.     It  is  of  Maine  granite. 

"  The  monument  will  rarely,  if  ever,  be  surpassed  by  any  pri- 
vate memorial  to  be  erected  in  this  country.  Its  entire  height  is 
75  feet  and  its  weight  600  tons.  The  design  represents  an 
Egyptian  obelisk,  the  monolith  being  60  feet  in  length,  and  the 
largest  of  modern  times ;  approaching,  in  fact,  the  famous  obe- 
lisks of  Egypt.  One  of  the  most  celebrated  in  the  world  is  only 
eight  feet  longer  than  the  one  we  are  describing ;  and  though 
without  a  pedestal,  and  erected  at  Heliopolis,  as  is  supposed 
some  four  centuries  before  Moses  was  born,  it  still  stands  erect, 
challenging  the  admiration  and  awakening  the  enthusiasm  of 
the  beholder.  The  Wool  obelisk  is  mounted  upon  a  pedestal  of 
three  plain  bases,  upon  which  rest  a  moulded  base,  the  die,  the 
neck-mould  or  plinth  and  the  shaft.  The  lower  base  is  17  feet 
six  inches  square  and  two  feet  thick.  This  and  the  two  succeed- 
ing courses  are  each  in  two  stones.  The  fourth  or  moulded  base 
and  each  above  are  in  a  single  stone.  In  the  curve  of  the  mould 
is  a  military  trophy  cut  in  the  granite  in  alto  relievo,  consisting  of 
a  sword  and  scabbard  and  the  hat  of  a  major-general  handsomely 
grouped  together.  The  die  is  nine  feet  square  and  six  feet  in 
height,  sloping  in  form  to  correspond  with  the  lines  of  the  obe- 
lisk, and  at  the  corners  and  upper  edges  ornamented  with  a 
carved  moulding.  The  neck-mould  is  also  embellished  in  like 
manner.  The  design,  the  moulding  and  ornamentation  are  all 
harmonious  and  in  strict  accord  with  Egyptian  architecture,  and 
not,  as  is  too  often  the  case,  a  medley  of  various  styles.  The 
weight  of  the  obelisk  quarried  was  150  tons,  or  one-half  the  en- 
tire structure.  It  is  of  course  one  solid  stone,  and  is  heavier  by 
at  least  100  tons  than  any  monolith  ever  quarried  and  chiseled 
in   this   country.     It  was   brought   to   Troy  upon  a  barge,  and 


thence  drawn  to  Oakwood  by  means  of  rollers  and  the  multipli- 
cation of  power  through  the  use  of  the  capstan.  It  would  have 
required  more  than  100  yoke  of  cattle  to  draw  it  to  its  destina- 
tion. Made  wholly  of  the  most  enduring  Maine  granite,  nothing 
but  an  act  of  vandalism  or  the  shock  of  an  earthquake  can  over- 
throw the  obelisk,  much  less  overturn  the  pedestal  on  which  it 

"  The  inscriptions  occupy  all  sides  of  the  die.  On  the  front, 
facing  the  carriage  way,  the  names  of  '  John  Ellis  AVool '  and 
'  Sarah  ]Moulton  '  are  cut,  with  the  dates  of  their  birth  and  death. 
On  the  reverse  side  is  a  brief  and  simple  dedicatory  inscription, 
written  by  the  venerable  William  CuUen  Bryant,  while  upon  the 
opposite  faces  appear  the  order  and  date  of  General  AVool's  pro- 
motions, beginning  with  the  grade  of  captain  and  closing  with 
that  of  major-general,  and  a  list  of  the  battles  in  which  the  vet- 
eran took  part." 

Murray  &  Archie  are  working  a  quarry  near  Chapman's 
pond,  which  they  purchased  of  Horace  Vose,  of  AVesterly,  in 
November,  1883.  They  are  quarrying  stock  for  the  trade,  and 
supply  large  quantities  for  paving  blocks,  as  well  as  for  monu- 
mental purposes,  supplying  Providence,  New  York  and  other 
large  cities  with  granite  of  a  superior  quality.  The  quarry  oc- 
cupies seven  acres  of  ground,  and  the  company  do  a  business  of 
about  $20,000  per  year.  This  quarry  has  been  in  operation 
about  twenty  years,  and  has  furnished  to  the  country  a  large 
supply  of  granite  material. 

Thoiipson  &  Briggs  own  and  operate  a  quarry  near  that  of 
Murray  &  Archie.  They  also  employ  a  force  of  help,  and  have 
made  their  business  profitable  as  well  as  beneficial  to  the  country 
at  large. 

Among  other  quarry  works  in  the  town  may  be  mentioned 
that  of  Alexander  G.  Crumb,  a  mile  south  of  Niantic  post  office, 
which  is  extensively  operated  ;  also  Chapman's  Granite  Works 
on  the  Hopkinton  road,  one  mile  east  of  Westerly  depot.  A 
large  force  of  help  is  utilized  at  both  of  these  works,  and  both 
produce  some  of  the  finest  work  done  in  the  country. 

Watch  Hill. — The  village  of  Watch  Hill  consists  of  a  num- 
ber of  fine  hotels,  summer  cottages,  minor  dwellings  and  a  post 
office,  and  is  located  on  a  promontory  which  has  the  broad  At- 
lantic on  one  side  and  little  Narragansett  bay  on  the  other.  The 
ridge  of  land,  perhaps  fifty  feet  above  the  level  of  the  water. 


terminates  at  the  light  house.  Landward  it  widens  as  it  retreats, 
with  a  great  variety  of  hummocks  and  hollows,  giving  a  pleasing 
variety  to  the  surface  and  affording  many  elegant  sites  for  sum- 
mer cottages.  To  the  beholder  there  is  a  beautiful  panorama 
spread  out  before  him  on  every  side.  To  the  north  lies  the  vil- 
lage of  Westerly  in  sight,  about  six  miles  distant ;  near  by,  to 
the  north,  is  the  pretty  little  Foster's  Cove,  eminently  suggestive 
of  water  fowl  and  fish  ;  1;o  the  westward  may  be  seen  the  broad 
bosom  of  the  bay,  studded  with  coasters  and  fishing  boats  plying 
their  vocations.  Stonington  and  Mystic  and  New  London  light 
are  seen  in  the  distance.  Further  to  the  left  is  Long  Island 
sound  and  Fisher's  island,  and  still  further  can  be  seen  distinctly 
Montauk  Point  light,  at  the  extreme  eastern  end  of  Long  Island. 
Three  states  are  in  sight — Rhode  Island,  Connecticut  and  New 
York.  On  the  left,  guarding  the  bay  from  the  ocean,  is  a  long 
spit  of  land  stretching  out  to  Napatree  Point,  which  fully  pro- 
tects the  bay  from  the  angry  ocean  in  the  fiercest  storms.  On 
both  sides  of  this  spit  are  the  bathing  beaches.  The  Light  House 
point  runs  out  just  southeast  of  this.  Then  stretching  northeast 
from  the  Light  House  point  is  the  beautiful  East  Beach,  a  hun- 
dred feet  or  more  of  clean,  drj^  sand,  shelving  gradually  down  to 
the  water  for  great  distances  in  an  almost  straight  line.  At  the 
extreme  end  of  East  Beach,  Block  Island,  twenty  miles  away, 
Noye's  Beach  and  Point  Judith  can  be  seen. 

The  position  of  Watch  Hill,  almost  surrounded  by  the  ocean 
and  bay,  its  geological  formation  of  rocks  and  sand  beach,  the 
absence  of  overflowed  marshes,  and  its  high,  undulating  surface 
—all  contribute  to  the  salubrity  of  its  climate.  The  winds,  from 
whatever  direction,  bring  the  cool,  bracing  sea  air.  The  temper- 
ature in  summer  never  oppresses,  and  is  always  far  below  that  of 
the  watering  places  on  the  New  Jersey  coast.  During  the  season 
blankets  can  rarely  be  spared  from  the  beds  at  night.  On  the 
memorable  7th  of  September,  1881,  when  the  thermometer 
ranged  from  ninety-five  to  one  hundred  and  six  degrees  in  the 
New  England  and  Middle  states  (one  hundred  at  the  United 
States  signal  station  in  New  York  city),  and  indicated  from 
ninety-four  to  one  hundred  and  five  degrees  at  Long  Branch  and 
neighboring  villages  on  the  New  Jersey  coast,  it  barely  reached 
eighty  at  the  Larkin  House,  Watch  Hill. 

The  tonic  effect  of  this  air  upon  the  appetite,  shattered  nerves, 
and  overworked  brain  is  very  marked,  and  approximates  very 


closely  to  the  benefit  derived  from  a  sea  voyage.  Those  who  are 
already  strong  and  robust  find  an  outlet  for  their  exuberant  life 
in  long  tramps  over  the  rocky  hills  and  sandy  beaches,  in  row- 
ing, ocean  sailing,  and  fishing,  and,  at  proper  seasons,  gunning. 

The  following  is  from  Charles  L.  Norton's  "  American  Seaside 
Resorts,"  published  by  Taintor  Brothers,  New  York,  1881 : 

"  This  favorite  resort  owes  its  popularity  to  the  magnificent 
ocean  view  which  is  obtained  from  the  bluffs  on  which  the  hotels 
stand,  to  the  variety  of  its  bathing  facilities,  and  to  the  excellent 
fishing  and  sailing  which  its  neighboring  waters  afford. 

"  The  hill  itself  is  a  high  bluff,  or  series  of  bluffs,  forming  the 
western  extremity  of  Narragansett  beach,  which,  broken  only  by 
inlets,  stretches  twenty  miles  eastward  to  Point  Judith.  In  early 
times  the  highest  bluff  was  used  as  a  lookout  for  whales,  and 
earlier  still,  it  is  said  that  the  Indians  maintained  a  watch  there 
to  guard  against  the  fierce  and  warlike  Montauks  of  Long  Island, 
who  would  occasionally  make  a  predatory  expedition  to  the  main- 
land in  their  canoes. 

"  The  formation  of  the  coast  at  this  point  is  very  peculiar.  A 
long  and  narrow  sandspit  makes  out  to  the  westward,  and  bend- 
ing at  a  right  angle  incloses  a  broad  and  shallow  inner  bay,  whose 
waters  are  as  quiet  and  safe  (comparatively  speaking)  as  a  mill- 
pond.  Outside  of  this,  and  yet  partially  protected  from  the  ocean 
by  Watch  Hill  point,  is  the  beach  generally  used  for  bathing. 
Here  are  bathing  houses  and  the  usual  accessories.  The  surf  on 
this  beach  is  always  moderate.  The  writer  has  bathed  there  in 
safety  when  a  southeaster  was  hurling  seas  heavy  enough  to 
swamp  a  frigate  upon  the  outer  beach,  within  five  minutes'  walk. 

"  Last  of  all  is  this  outer  beach,  which,  owing  to  the  undertow, 
is  considered  dangerous  for  bathers.  It  is,  however,  unsurpassed 
as  a  promenade,  and,  when  viewed  from  the  bluff,  presents  a 
scene  which  will  not  be  readily  forgotten. 

"  That  the  hotels  are  full  to  overflowing  during  the  season  no 
one  will  wonder  who  has  seen  the  magnificent  sea  view  and 
experienced  the  other  attractions  of  this  favorite  watering 

There  are  eight  hotels  at  Watch  Hill.  They  are  named  the 
"Ocean,"  the  "Larkin,"  the  "Atlantic,"  the  "Watch  Hill,"  the 
"  Narragansett,"  the  "  Bay  View,"  the  "  Plimpton,"  and  the 
"  Dickens."  In  these  the  most  fastidious  visitor  may  find  clean 
rooms,  the  best  of  beds,  well  supplied  tables  and  excellent  ser- 


vice.  There  is  no  lack  of  fresh  food.  Excellent  beef  is  brought 
from  the  Stonington  markets  daily.  The  blue  fish  are  particu- 
larly hard  and  sweet.  Bass,  black  fish,  mackerel,  crabs,  oysters 
and  hard  and  soft  clams,  are  caught  and  served  daily.  Chickens, 
eggs,  turkeys,  milk  and  fresh  vegetables  are  raised  in  the  neigh- 
borhood and  ice  is  abundant. 

The  hotels  are  usually  provided  with  large  halls,  dining  rooms, 
kitchens,  bakeries  and  pastry  rooms,  are  well  furnished,  properly 
lighted  and  well  supplied  with  electric  bells,  and  other  equip- 
ments found  in  all  first  class  hotels. 

The  facilities  for  bathing  are  unusually  good.  The  light- 
house promontory,  against  which  the  sea  dashes  from  the  east, 
affords  a  natural  breakwater  to  check  the  violence  of  the  waves, 
and  just  southwest  of  this  is  the  safe  and  beautiful  Napatree 
Beach.  It  is  so  protected  from  the  prevailing  summer  winds 
and  currents  that  it  is  very  rarely  too  strong  for  ladies  and  chil- 
dren. It  is  of  such  a  gradual  slope  that  bathers  can  go  far  out 
into  the  waters  with  safety.  The  beach  is  of  a  light  gray  sand, 
with  here  and  there  a  deposit  of  small  rounded  pebbles,  and  en- 
tirely free  from  refuse  or  weeds. 

It  is  a  pleasure  that  is  vastly  enjoyed ;  at  bathing  hours  the 
beach  is  crowded  both  in  the  water  and  on  the  sand.  Every  con- 
venience for  bathing  is  supplied  on  the  spot ;  the  bath-houses  are 
only  a  few  minutes  walk  from  the  hotels.  Bathing  clothes, 
towels,  etc.,  are  supplied  at  moderate  charges.  Those  who  bring 
their  own  garments  can  have  them  well  taken  care  of  by  respon- 
sible persons.  There  are  also  hot  and  cold  salt  water  bath- 
houses for  those  who  do  not  wish  to  enter  the  sea. 

The  peninsula  or  promontory  is  entirely  of  rock  and  sand.  It 
rises  gradually  from  the  shore  line  with  gentle  undulations,  the 
highest  hill  being  almost  a  hundred  feet  above  the  sea  level. 
There  are  no  salt  marshes  breeding  innumerable  mosquitoes  and 
filling  the  air  with  offensive  odors  at  low  tide,  so  often  encoun- 
tered at  or  near  the  sea  side.  The  surface  was  once  covered  with 
trees,  but  they  have  long  since  disappeared,  giving  place  to  cul- 
tivated fields  and  pastures,  and  where  left  wild,  clad  only  with 
grasses  and  such  shrubs  as  are  usually  found  on  coast  lands,  the 
laurel,  the  bay,  the  huckleberry,  and  other  salt-air-loving  plants. 
Of  late  many  fruit  and  ornamental  trees  have  been  planted. 
Each  new  cottage  with  its  ornamental  grounds  adds  to  the  beauty 
of  the  landscape. 


There  are  also  quite  a  number  of  lakelets,  some  so  near  the 
beach  that  they  are  overwhelmed  from  the  ocean  during  the 
■winter  storms,  and  continue  brackish  all  the  year  round.  Others 
farther  inland,  fed  by  natural  springs,  are-  always  fresh.  These 
small  sheets  of  water  could  easily  be  stocked  with  fish,  and  at 
slight  expense  could  be  converted  into  attractive  and  safe  boat- 
ing and  fishing  ponds  for  children. 

The  East  Beach  is  one  of  the  grandest  attractions  of  the  place. 
On  this  magnificent  shore  the  surf  never  ceases.  Here  there  is 
no  bar  outside,  and  the  deep  water  continues  so  near  the  shore 
line  that  the  great  waves  break  and  thunder  at  one's  feet  con- 
tinually. The  grandeur  of  the  battle  of  the  waves  is,  however, 
best  seen  among  the  rocks  which  surround  and  defend  the  Light 
House  point.  The  long  surges  roll  easily  in  over  the  outermost, 
partly  submerged  rocks,  and  sweeping  inward,  break  in  clouds 
of  white  foam  against  those  on  the  shore  line,  sometimes  send- 
ing water  and  spray  twenty  feet  in  the  air  and  again  boiling  and 
twirling  in  a  hundred  miniature  whirlpools  as  they  speed  up  the 
beach  among  the  bowlders.  Fragments  of  wreck,  sea  weeds, 
many  colored  and  curious  in  form,  star  fish,  sea  urchins,  stranded 
fish,  and  other  ocean  waifs,  are  constantly  thrown  up  on  the 
beach,  and  afford  sport  to  the  youngsters  who  frolic  on  the  sands. 

As  early  as  1658  the  general  court  of  Massachusetts  Bay 
granted  to  Captain  Daniel  Gookin  certain  lands  east  of  the  Paw- 
catuck  river.  These  were  sold  and  transferred  to  Simon  Lynde, 
of  Boston,  in  1672.  The  courts  of  Connecticut  confirmed  the 
grant  in  1674.  Rhode  Island  was  annexed  to  the  dominion  of 
Sir  Edmund  Andros  in  1686,  who  was  titled  captain-general  and 
governor-in-chief  of  His  Majesty's  Territory  in  New  England. 
Simon  Lynde  died  in  1688.  His  real  estate  was  divided  among 
his  children,  and  in  the  distribution  Watch  Hill  was  assigned  to 
his  son,  Nathaniel  Lynde,  of-  Saybrook,  who  in  turn  sold  it  to 
James  Pendleton.  The  deed  of  conveyance  was  executed  in  Bos- 
ton, February  28th,  1688,  and  the  same  may  be  found  on  the 
records  of  Old  vStonington.  The  document  is  very  quaint  and 
antiquated.  We  copy  the  description  of  the  property  here  for 
the  enlightenment  of  the  reader.     He  conveys  : 

"  All  that  his  farms,  tract,  persell,  or  neck  of  land  Commonly 
Called  or  known  by  the  Several  name  or  names  of'Pawcktuck 
alios  Squamochuck  neck,  beginning  at  a  stake  stuck  in  the  East 
side  of  a  Creek  one  Rod  west  of  the  mouth  thereof ;  the  said 


Creek  being  between  two  small  Necks  of  upland,  and  Runs  into 
a  peace  of  saltt  Marsh,  at  the  head  of  a  Cove  being  on  the  East 
side  of  pauckatuck  River,  which  said  stake  is  the  North  Easterly- 
Corner.  And  from  thence  in  a  straight  Lyne  South  fifteen  de- 
grees East  to  Cross  the  said  Neck  three  hundred  and  fifty  eight 
Rod  by  mark  trees  and  heapes  of  stones  into  the  salt  Water  pond 
Called  Massachuge,  which  is  the  south  East  Corner,  from  thence 
bounded  southerly  by  said  pond  and  beach  and  watch  hill  pond 
and  beach  as  said  ponds  and  beaches  joynes  unto  the  upland  with 
whatch  hill  peyntt  being  the  south  west  corner,  from  thence 
westerly  by  the  beach  and  the  harbor,  including  the  hummocks 
and  Marsh  thearto  adjoining  on  the  turn  of  the  beach,  that  makes 
the  harbor  along  by  the  East  side  of  said  harbor  and  Cove  to  the 
mouth  of  pauchtuck  River,  theare  being  the  noath  westerly  Cor- 
ner, from  thence  bounded  on  the  Northward  by  the  Southeast- 
erly side  of  said  River  and  Coves  as  they  Lye  unto  the  first 
station  ;  being  the  Noath  Easterly  Corner.  So  that  the  whole  is 
bounded  Easterly  by  lands  Not  Laid  outt.  Southerly  by  said 
ponds  and  beaches.  Westerly  by  the  harbor  and  Coves,  Northerly 
by  the  Aforesaid  River  and  Coves,  Containing  one  thousand 

The  Nash  famiily  were  the  pioneer  landlords  of  Watch  Hill. 
The  first  place  of  public  entertainment  was  built  by  Captain 
Jonathan  Nash  about  the  year  1833.  This  house  was  kept  in  the 
family  until  about  the  year  1863,  and  then  passed  out  of  their 
hands.  This  was  called  The  Watch  Hill  Honse,  and  is  now  the 
property  of  Hale  &  Co.  The  Nash  family  kept  boarders  for  a 
number  of  years.  The  property  finally  passed  into  the  hands  of 
Mr.  Berger,  of  New  York.  This  transfer  was  made  in  1863.  In 
1869  Mr.  Berger  sold  it  to  D.  F.  Larkin  &  Co.,  and  in  1871  Hale 
&  Co.  became  the  possessors.  The  house  has  had  a  number  of  ad- 
ditions, one  annex  recently  made  adding  fifty  rooms  to  it.  There 
are  now  one  hundred  and  seventy-eight  rooms  in  all,  many  of 
which,  including  halls,  dining  room  95  by  35  feet,  office  room, 
etc.,  are  very  large.  The  house  is  well  equipped  in  every  partic- 
ular, and  is  most  handsomely  located  on  the  hill,  affording  a  good 
view  of  the  surrounding  scenery.  It  has  a  frontage  of  165  feet, 
and  a  wing  of  100  feet,  encompassed  by  broad  piazzas. 

The  A  tlantic  House,  built  by  Maxson  &  Co.  before  the  late  war, 
was  the  next  hotel  erected.  It  passed  through  a  number  of 
hands,  and  finally  came  into  the  possession  of  Orrin  F.  Spencer, 


the  present  owner,  who  bought  the  property  about  fifteen  years 
ago.  It  has  about  sixty-five  rooms,  and  like  the  other  houses, 
excels  in  its  accommodations. 

The  Plimpton  House,  pleasantly  situated  within  one  hundred 
feet  of  the  bay,  was  built  by  S.  A.  Plimpton  &  Co.  in  1865.  It 
subsequently  passed  into  the  hands  of  the  AVashington  Savings 
Bank  at  Westerly,  and  afterward  to  Mr.  Griswold.  The  property 
includes  the  Bay  View  and  Dickens  houses,  and  is  at  present 
owned  by  William  Hill.  Sixty  new  sleeping  rooms  and  other 
apartments  have  been  lately  added  to  the  original  number,  in- 
creasing the  original  size  and  value  of  the  property  to  some  con- 
siderable extent. 

The  Dickens  House,  above  mentioned,  was  built  by  Captain 
Harry  Dickens,  and  used  as  a  boarding  house. 

The  Ocean  House  was  built  by  Nathan  Xash  in  1868.  It  has 
been  enlarged  from  time  to  time,  and  contains  now  one  hundred 
rooms.  It  passed  into  the  hands  of  Edward  S.  Brewer,  and  he 
in  1884  put  in  all  modern  fixtures,  making  of  it  a  first-class 

The  Larkin  House  is  the  largest  house  on  the  hill.  It  will  ac- 
commodate four  hundred  guests,  having  been  latel}-  enlarged  by 
an  addition  111  by  25  feet.  The  original  property  on  this  site 
was  erected  in  1868,  and  opened  up  the  next  year  by  Daniel  F. 
Larkin  &  Co.  Since  that  time  four  additions  have  been  made — 
in  1873,  1885,  1886  and  1888.  There  are  now  two  hundred  and 
six  rooms  in  the  house.  The  rooms  are  large,  with  high  ceilings, 
airy  and  well  furnished,  and  the  house  is  lighted  throughout 
with  gas,  and  has  electric  bells,  etc. 

Watch  Hill  Light  House. — The  first  light  house  on  the  promon- 
tory was  opened  in  1802.  The  contractor  was  Air.  Elisha  Wood- 
ward of  New  London.  May  2d,  1806,  by  a  vote  of  the  town,  the 
ownership  and  main  jurisdiction  of  Watch  Hill  point  were  trans- 
ferred to  the  state  to  be  transferred  to  the  United  States  that  the 
beacon  and  its  premises  might  be  under  national  control.  The 
present  light  house  was  built  in  1856.  The  first  light  keeper  was 
Mr.  Jonathan  Nash.  He  faithfully  trimmed  his  lamps  for  twenty- 
seven  years,  and  then  succumbed  to  the  change  made  under  the 
Jackson  administration. 

The  list  of  light  keepers  at  Watch  Hill  presents  the  following 
names :  Jonathan  Nash,  Enoch  Vose,  Gilbert  Pendleton,  Daniel 
Babcock,  Ethan    Pendleton,  Nelson  Brown,   Daniel  F.  Larkin, 


Jared  S.  Crandall.     Mr.  Crandall  died  a  few  years  ago,  and  his 
widow  now  keeps  it. 

The  Old  Foster  House.— Among  the  objects  of  local  attraction  to 
the  antiquarian  is  the  "  Foster  "  house,  built  a  century  and  a 
half  ago.  Though  it  has  been  remodeled,  it  retains  the  essentials 
of  the  colonial  architecture.  Two  great  chimneys  rise  through 
the  center  of  the  roof.  Its  frame  timbers  were  all  hewn  by  hand, 
and  are  as  solid  to-day  as  when  put  up.  There  is  no  studding  on 
its  outer  walls ;  the  rooms  are  all  finished  with  wood,  the  ceilings 
low,  and  the  rooms  small,  but  are  so  arranged  as  to  accommodate 
quite  a  large  family. 

The  old  graveyard  near  by  in  a  hollow  will  soon  be  entirely 
obliterated.  Many  of  the  remains  and  their  tomb  stones  have 
been  removed  to  the  cemetery  at  Westerly.  Most  of  the  old 
head-stones  have  crumbled  away,  and  the  outlines  of  the  ancient 
mounds  are  scarcely  to  be  distinguished.  One  remaining  stone 
has  the  date  of  1740. 

A  neat  church,  with  a  seating  capacity  of  four  hundred,  built 
by  the  contributions  of  a  few  liberal  visitors,  stands  near  the 
center  of  the  village.  It  is  undenominational,  but  its  pulpit  is 
regularly  supplied  all  the  summer  through,  mainly  by  visiting 

The  Watch  Hill  post  office  building  was  erected  in  1883  by 
D.  F.  Larkin,  and  at  that  time  the  post  office  was  established. 
Mr.  F  S.  Aldrich  is  the  present  postmaster. 

There  are  the  usual  stores,  etc.,  in  the  place.  William  Segar 
is  proprietor  of  a  good  supply  store  of  groceries,  provisions,  etc., 
and  a  good  livery  stable,  owned  by  Mr.  C.  Lanphear,  is  at  the 
service  of  the  guests  of  the  various  hotels. 

Ocean  View. — This  place  is  situated  a  few  miles  northeast  of 
Watch  Hill,  and  not  far  from  the  extreme  southeastern  part  of 
the  town,  and  is  surrounded  by  a  beautiful  country.  The  house 
is  located  on  the  site  at  one  time  occupied  by  Ninigret,  the 
sachem  chief.  The  owner  and  proprietor  of  this  resort  is  W.  S. 
Gavitt,  who  is  descended  from  Ezekiel  Gavitt  (born  December 
25th,  1683,  married  Hannah  Wilcox  April  22d,  1704),  to  whom 
Ninigret  made  a  deed  of  this  tract  of  land,  about  a  mile  square, 
receiving  as  pay  therefor  a  jug  of  rum,  some  blankets,  and  a  few 
trinkets  of  minor  value,  etc.  The  original  house  on  this  site  was 
erected  about  the  year  1704.  It  stood  until  after  the  great  Sep- 
tember gale  of  1815,  when  it  was  torn  down.     Situated  as  it  was 


on  the  old  Post  road  (then  known  as  the  King's  Highway)  it  be- 
came a  stopping  place  for  the  stage  coaches  running  between 
Providence  and  New  London,  and  as  such  was  one  of  the  early- 
hotels  of  the  county.  After  the  building  of  railroads  travel  was 
diverted,  and  from  that  time  till  twenty  years  ago  it  passed  from 
public  notice. 

As  soon  as  the  pleasure  seeker  and  sea  side  visitor  discovered 
the  attractiveness  of  this  site  it  came  again  before  the  public, 
and  now,  because  of  the  magnificent  view  it  presents  and  of  the 
delectableness  of  the  air  and  surroundings,  and  of  the  good  table, 
the  rooms  of  this  house  are  certain  to  be  kept  full  ever}'  season. 
Mr.  AV.  S.  Gavitt's  father,  Joseph  Gavitt,  was  major  of  a  regiment 
in  the  war  of  1812 ;  and  his  grandfather,  John  Gavitt,  was  a 
colonel  in  the  revolution. 

Potter  Hill. — The  following  sketch  of  Potter  Hill  was  writ- 
ten principally  by  I\Iiss  ^Nlaria  Potter :  "  Going  back  as  far  as  pos- 
sible to  the  origin  of  business  in  this  locality,  Ave  find  '  the  dam 
at  Potter  Hill  owned  by  Samuel  IMaxson  and  John  Davis.'  Mr. 
Maxson  was  the  great-grandson  of  John  Maxson,  one  of  the  first 
planters.  '  Prior  to  1762,  there  was  a  dam  and  grist-mill  at  the 
meeting-house  bridge,  about  one  mile  up  the  stream,  owned  by 
Peter  Crandall ;  as  this  dam  flowed  valuable  meadow  lands  above, 
the  land-owners  purchased  and  leveled  it.  The  grist  mill  was 
purchased  by  John  Davis,  and  removed  to  Potter  Hill,  on  the 
Westerly  side  of  the  river.  Afterward  a  saw  mill  that  had  been 
erected  on  the  east  side,  was  transferred  to  the  west  side.  After 
occupying  the  mills  for  a  few  years,  on  the  10th  of  January,  1775, 
the  grist  mill,  saw  mill  and  fulling  mill,  with  two  dwelling 
houses  and  sixteen  acres  of  land,  were  purchased  of  John  and 
William  Davis,  for  300  pounds  sterling,  by  George  Potter,  and 
operated  by  him  till  his  death,  in  1794.'  He  was  known  as  '  the 
honest  miller,' even 'to  a  kernel  of  corn.'  He  also  opened  a 
store,  which  was  continued  by  his  son,  and  afterward  by  his 
grandsons.  He  owned  two  houses,  a  grist  mill,  a  saw  mill,  and  a 
fulling  mill.  The  family  papers  also  testify  that  he  built  here 
several  vessels.  He  left  three  sons,  George,  Jr.,  Joseph  and 
Nathan,  who  carried  on  the  business  left  by  the  father,  till  the 
death  of  George,  Jr.,  in  1801.  This  George,  2d,  was  engaged 
many  years  in  ship-building,  and  in  cod-fishing  at  the  Straits  of 
Belle  Isle,  'being  the  first  man  from  the  United  States,  after  the 
close  of  the  Revolution,  to  go  to  Green  Island  (in  the  Bay  of  St. 


Lawrence).'  '  At  Newfoundland,  on  board  an  English  vessel,  he 
saw  the  Duke  of  Clarence,  afterward  William  IV.'  He  remem- 
bered him  particularly  from  a  little  incident,  namely :  in  a  sud- 
den shower  the  duke  took  from  a  box  in  his  pocket  a  water-proof 

"  Some  time  after  the  death  of  George,  his  brother  Nathan  be- 
came embarrassed  in  business,  and  his  rights  were  sold  to  the  re- 
maining brother,  Joseph,  who  also  bought  the  rights  of  the  heirs 
of  George,  and  so  became  sole  proprietor.  In  1810,  Joseph  com- 
menced the  manufacture  of  cotton  in  a  part  of  the  old  mill,  said 
to  be  the  first  pound  of  cotton  manufactured  in  Westerly.  Soon 
after,  in  1812,  he  began  his  cotton  factory  at  a  cost  of  $9,000.  He 
had  previously  been  engaged  in  foreign  trade,  and  sent  vessels 
to  the  West  Indies  and  to  Barcelona,  in  Spain.  This  business 
was  damaged  by  the  'embargo  of  1806.'  In  this  business  Gen- 
eral William  Williams,  of  Stonington,  says  of  him,  '  Esquire  Pot- 
ter is  the  most  independent  man  I  ever  knew.' 

"  About  the  year  1796,  the  Potter  Brothers  were  sued  by  Zach- 
eus  Reynolds  for  not  opening  the  fish  gap  in  their  dam  at  the 
usual  time,  the  20th  of  ]\Iarch.  The  neglect  was  occasioned  by 
a  freshet;  and  the  man  who  sawed  the  plate  at  last,  did  so  at  the 
peril  of  his  life.  The  case  was  in  the  law  seven  years,  and  was 
finally  gained  by  the  defendants.  Many  people  were  interested 
here  in  catching  alewives  and  shad.  A  scoop  net  would  some- 
times compass  three  shad  at  a  time.  Once,  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Neshungansett,  or  Mile  brook,  a  few  rods  below,  ten  thousand 
alewives  were  caught  at  a  time  in  a  seine. 

"  The  brothers,  Joseph  and  Nathan  Potter,  for  a  time  built 
boats  for  the  Green  Island  fisher)-,  building  from  ten  to  fifteen 
per  year,  some  of  them  holding  four  tons.  These  were  floated 
down  to  tidewater.  They  also  built  sloops,  schooners,  and  at 
one  time  even  a  ship;  framing  them  at  Potter  Hill,  and  then 
taking  them  apart  and  rebuilding  them  at  Westerly.  During  the 
war  of  1812,  two  gunboats.  No.  91  and  No.  92,  sloop-rigged,  were 
built  by  them  in  the  same  inanner,  under  the  superintendence 
of  Captain  Phipps,  an  agent  of  the  government. 

"  Mr.  Potter's  cotton  mill  was  at  first  a  success.  During  the  last 
war  he  was  offered  three  cents  a  hank  for  spinning  No.  12  yarn, 
having  the  cotton  furnished.  This  was  the  beginning  of  the 
manufacture  of  fabrics  in  this  region.  Mr.  Potter  also  opened 
the  second  store,  in  a  wing  of  his  house.     The  cotton-spinning 


and  cotton-dressing  business  was  carried  on  under  the  name  of 
Joseph  Potter  &  Sons,  till  1814,  when  the  father  sold  his  right  to 
his  sons,  who  continued  the  business  under  the  firm  of  Thomas 
W.  &  Joseph  Potter  &  Co.'  The  '  &  Co.'  included,  first  and  last, 
all  the  brothers,  Henry,  Robert  T.  and  William.  Toward  the 
close  of  the  war  Mr.  Potter's  business  so  languished  that  it  was 
thought  '  he  sunk  $13,000  by  the  factory.' 

"  As  previously  stated, '  Joseph  Potter  was  also  engaged  in  mer- 
cantile business  ;  and  it  was  about  the  year  1791  that  the  serious 
burglary  occurred,  occasioning  a  great  stir  in  the  community. 
The  burglars  were  Thomas  Mount,  William  Stanton  and  James 
Williams.  They  came  in  the  night,  took  a  crow-bar  from  the 
saw  mill,  broke  open  the  grist  mill,  emptied  the  bags  of  grain  on 
the  ice,  and  then  broke  open  the  store  attached  to  Mr.  Potter's 
house,  and  filled  the  bags  with  silks,  cotton  fabrics,  and  other 
valuables,  worth  about  $800.  Most  of  the  goods  were  afterward 
found  secreted  in  stacks  and  barns  in  Stonington,  and  some  in 
Candlewood  Hill  in  Groton.  Williams  turned  state's  evidence, 
and  thus  escaped  punishment.  Stanton  received  a  severe  public 
whipping.  Mount  was  tried,  and  hung  at  Kingston,  having  con- 
fessed that  he  should  have  killed  Mr.  Potter,  had  he  made  his  ap- 
pearance, and  also  that  this  was  the  thirtieth  burglary  that  he 
had  committed.  He  seems  to  have  been  a  hardened  criminal.' 
This  is  the  last  instance  of  capital  punishment  that  occurred  in 
Washington  county.  The  law  then  inflicted  this  penalty  upon 
burglars  who  entered  private  dwellings. 

"  About  this  time,  1792,  '  Nathan  Potter  had  a  blacksmith  shop 
at  the  west  end  of  the  bridge,  which  he  removed  to  the  east  side 
of  the  river,  and  added  to  it  a  trip-hammer.  This  property,  af- 
ter his  failure  in  1814,  was  owned  by  Daniel  and  Oliver  Babcock, 
excellent  men  and  good  workmen,  who  continued  the  smith  bus- 
iness till  1858,  when  the  shop  was  removed,  the  privilege  having 
been  sold  by  Daniel  Babcock,  in  1851,  to  the  owners  of  the  prop- 
erty on  the  other  side  of  the  stream.' 

"  Thomas  W.  &  Joseph  Potter  &  Co.,  mentioned  in  a  previous 
paragraph,  enlarged  the  manufacturing  business,  and  worthily 
conducted  it,  till  1843,  when  they  sold  mills  and  privilege  to 
Messrs.  Edwin  and  Horace  Babcock. 

"  In  1800  the  place  could  boast  but  three  residences  near  the 

"  Joseph  Potter,  father  of  Thomas  W.,  Joseph  and  Henry,  died 


December  14th,  1822,  at  the  age  of  sixty-three,  a  man  of  industry, 
ability,  integrity,  decision,  generosity  and  piety.  '  He  was  long 
a  pillar  and  clerk  of  the  old  Sabbatarian  Church,  when  it  num- 
bered near  nine  hundred  members.' 

"  The  progenitor  of  this  worthy  Potter  family  was  Martin  Pot- 
ter, who  is  reported  to  have  been  a  son  of  one  of  the  Regicides — 
one  of  the  judges  that  condemned  Charles  I.  On  the  restoration 
of  the  monarchy,  he  fled  to  this  country,  and  took  shelter  with 
his  cousins  in  South  Kingstown,  R.  I.,  where  he  lived  till  his 
death.  He  was  reticent  in  respect  to  his  history.  It  appears, 
however,  that  he  owned  a  large  estate  in  North  Shields,  on  the 
banks  of  the  Tyne,  in  England— in  the  midst  of  the  coal  region 
—property  valued  in  1835,  at  $9,000,000.  Before  his  flight  he 
leased  this  estate  for  ninety-nine  years.  At  the  expiration  of  the 
lease,  an  attempt  was  made  to  confiscate  the  property,  and  it 
passed  into  the  charge  of  the  Bishop  of  Durham.  Measures 
were  instituted,  prior  to  the  revolution,  to  recover  it ;  these  were 
broken  up  by  the  war.  During  the  present  century,  the  suit  has 
been  re-opened,  and  is  still  pending.  The  estate  embraces 
'  something  like  400  acres,  one  mile  of  docks,  and  near  300 

"  As  one  of  the  witnesses  and  noble  representatives  of  Potter 
Hill  and  Hopkinton,  mention  should  be  made  of  Deacon  Daniel 
Babcock,  or,  as  he  was  often  called.  Judge  Babcock.  He  was 
born  in  North  Stonington  August  31st,  1762.  He  was  a  black- 
smith, and  commenced  business  at  Potter  Hill,  where  he  married. 
For  forty-six  years  he  was  justice  of  the  peace ;  for  nine  years, 
from  1807  to  1816,  he  was  a  member  of  the  upper  house  of  the 
state,  elected  by  general  prox,  and  carried  with  him  the  suffrage 
of  all  parties,  retaining  the  office  by  a  unanimous  vote.  For  ten 
years  he  was  a  judge  of  the  county  court  for  Washington  county. 
He  was  the  intimate  friend  and  counselor  of  Governors  Fenner, 
Knight  and  others.  As  a  Christian  man,  he  honorably  main- 
tained his  profession  for  sixty-three  years,  and  for  fifty -eight  years 
he  was  a  deacon  in  the  staunch  old  Sabbatarian  church  in  Hop- 
kinton, in  which  church  he  also  served  as  chorister  for  nearly 
half  a  century.  He  belonged  to  the  soundly  Evangelical  portion 
of  his  denomination ;  was  the  intimate  friend  and  relative  of 
Reverend  Rtifus  Babcock ;  was  loved  and  honored  by  Reverend 
Stephen  Gano,  and  others,  of  Providence ;  and  was  sent  for,  far 
and  near,  as  arbiter  and  counselor  in  difficult  cases  in  church 


and  in  private  life.  He  served  for  a  short  time  in  the  revolution- 
ary army.  He  died  in  Hopkinton  September  18th,  1846.  His 
brother,  Doctor  Christopher  Babcock,  was  a  distinguished  sur- 
geon in  the  revolutionary  army,  and  died  in  the  service." 

J.  P.  Campbell  &  Co.,  the  purchasers  of  the  mills  of  R.  &  A. 
Babcock,  employ  about  two  hundred  hands  and  manufacture  fine 
fancy  cassimeres.  The  store  and  post  office  at  this  place  are  kept 
by  A.  R.  Andrews. 

Lottery  Village. — About  two  miles  north  of  Watch  Hill  is 
the  quiet  little  village  of  Lotteryville,  so  called  from  the  fact 
that  the  owner  of  the  lands  whereon  most  of  the  village  stands. 
Colonel  Joseph  Pendleton,  in  consideration  of  losses  sustained 
by  himself  and  his  kindred,  received  from  the  state  a  lottery 
grant  in  which  the  successful  tickets  drew  house  lots  previously 
laid  out  on  his  own  lands.  Thus  the  place  derived  its  unfortu- 
nate name.  The  land  was  laid  out  in  one  hundred  and  twenty- 
six  house  lots  under  a  grant  given  in  February,  1749,  and  exe- 
cuted by  Isaac  Sheffield  and  Elias  Thompson,  aided  by  W.  Bab- 
cock as  surveyor. 

This  village  has  been  distinguished  for  its  large  number  of 
sailors  and  ship  masters,  many  of  whom  engaged  in  whale  fish- 
ing, some  of  whom  still  reside  there.  Properly  this  village  stands 
at  the  head  of  navigation,  the  river  above  being  narrow  and 

A  branch  of  the  First  Baptist  church  in  the  village  of  Westerly 
was  organized  here  on  the  7th  of  February,  1843.  The  constituent 
members  were  Lyman  Hall,  David  Pendleton,  Ethan  Pendleton, 
Jesse  N.  Brown,  Abby  P.  Hall,  Sarah  Pendleton,  Phebe  A.  Pen- 
dleton and  Eunice  Brown.  The  meetings  were  held  in  the  school 
house  till  1848,  when  a  meeting  house  was  erected  at  a  cost  of 
$1,200.  In  the  summer  of  1849  the  branch  became  an  inde- 
pendent church  with  thirty-three  members.  The  first  pastor. 
Reverend  Nicholas  H.  Matteson,  was  ordained  October  18th,  1849. 
Lyman  Hall  and  Nathan  Fitch  were  deacons.  The  first  house 
was  destroyed  by  fire  in  1851.  The  present  house  was  built  in 
1852.  In  1865  the  membership  of  this  church  returned  as  a 
branch  to  the  church  from  which  it  sprung. 

White  Rock. — This  village  was  originally  called  Crumb's 
Neck,  so  named  because  a  portion  of  the  land  jutting  into  the 
river  was  once  owned  by  Sylvester  Crumb.  One  of  the  first 
bridges  across  the  Pawcatuck  was  a  little  below  this  village.     It 


connected  the  farms  of  Weeden  H.  Berry  of  Westerly  with  those 
of  Stephen  Babcock  of  Stonington.  There  were  grist  mills  here 
during  the  revolution  which  were  about  that  time  owned  and 
operated  by  Mr.  George  Bentley.  The  village  of  White  Rock 
has  sprung  up  within  the  past  twenty-five  years.  In  speaking 
of  the  growth  of  this  place,  Mr.  Denison  says : 

"  The  valuable  mill  privilege  was  owned  by  Captain  Saxton 
Berry,  and  was  sold  by  him,  with  the  land  adjoining,  for  the  sum 
of  $1,300  to  Messrs.  Blodgett,  Stafford  &  Simmons.  These  gen- 
tlemen caused  the  necessary  surveys  to  be  made ;  a  dam  was 
built,  and  a  large  dwelling  house  was  erected.  For  some  reason, 
said  to  have  been  the  finding  of  a  ivliite  rock  in  the  river,  the 
company  took  the  name  of  White  Rock  Company.  A  pleasant 
autumnal  day  was  chosen  for  the  purpose  of  christening  the  new 
village,  which  as  yet  only  existed  in  paper  plans.  The  meeting 
for  this  purpose  was  held  in  the  shade  of  some  old  oaks  which 
bordered  the  woods.  The  moderator  on  this  occasion  was  Edward 
Hiscox,  an  old  revolutionary  pensioner,  well  known  in  this 
vicinity  at  that  time. 

"William  P.  Blodgett  and  James  F.  Simmons,  both  of  Provi- 
dence, with  others  whose  names  have  not  been  preserved,  made 
appropriate  speeches.  Refreshments,  such  as  crackers  and 
cheese,  with  punch,  were  placed  upon  the  table  and  distributed 
among  the  crowd.  It  is  said  that  by  some  oversight  the  com- 
mittee of  arrangements  neglected  to  bring  the  sugar  needed  in 
making  the  punch,  and  this  part  of  the  entertainment  had  to  be 
deferred  till  a  messenger  could  go  to  Pawcatuck  and  return  with 
the  indispensable  article.  This  delay  proved  an  augury  of  the 
fate  which  awaited  their  enterprise.  Although  long  delayed,  it 
was  finally  completed,  and  has  become  one  of  the  witnesses  of 
Westerly,  a  monument  to  the  enterprise  and  sagacity  of  her 

"  Soon  after  the  event  described  above,  one  of  the  partners 
died,  and  the  times  being  unfavorable,  operations  were  sus- 
pended. After  the  lapse  of  several  years,  Messrs.  Rowse  Bab- 
cock and  Jesse  L.  Moss,  having  bought  out  the  other  parties,  took 
the  enterprise  in  hand.  Twenty-four  of  the  tenements  are  pre- 
cisely alike.  The  twelve  double  houses  stand  in  a  line  on  the  east 
side  of  the  street.  The  mill  was  built  in  1849,  of  cut  granite  and 
pressed  brick ;  was  185  feet  long,  50  feet  wide,  and  five  stories 
high,  with  a  tower  22  feet  square  and  90  feet  high  ;  and  contained 


]  0,152  spindles,  and  produced  annually  1,400,000  yards  of  rolled 
jaconets  and  fine  shirtings.     The   superintendents  have  been. 

Isaac   Hall,  Alvin  Greene,  Chace   and  Angelo   Rowland. 

Only  a  little  over  one-half  of  the  available  power  was  used,  until 
the  village,  in  1873,  was  purchased  by  Messrs.  B.  B.  &  R.  Knight, 
of  Providence.  The  Messrs.  Knight  have,  since  they  purchased 
this  estate,  expended  large  sums  of  money,  enlarging  the  mills, 
putting  in  engines,  building  dwelling  houses  and  beautifying 
the  grounds,  the  village  now  being  nearly  twice  the  size  it  was 
when  purchased  by  them. 

"  In  1856  a  neat  and  commodious  school  house,  30  by  40  feet, 
was  built  by  the  proprietors  of  the  village,  and  has  been  occupied 
ever  since  for  school  purposes  without  cost  to  the  district.  After 
several  preliminary  meetings  had  been  held,  a  Sabbath  school 
was  organized  July  24th,  1851,  with  Stephen  A.  Greene,  superin- 
tendent ;  Philip  Tillinghast,  vice-superintendent ;  James  Cole, 
librarian,  and  Samuel  B.  Clark,  clerk,  who  was  succeeded  August 
10th  of  the  same  year  by  J.  D.  Taylor.  A  room  in  one  of  the 
dwelling  houses  was  fitted  up  with  seats  at  the  expense  of  its 
owners,  and  used  by  the  school  for  many  years.  At  present  its 
sessions  are  held  in  the  school  house,  which  is  also  used  for  pub- 
lic worship.  The  winter  of  1856  and  '57  was  made  memorable 
by  a  great  revival,  in  which  over  fifty  were  converted.  During 
the  war  a  Soldiers'  Aid  Society  was  formed,  an  exhibition  was 
given  by  the  young  people  for  its  benefit,  and  valuable  aid  was 
rendered  at  a  time  when  it  was  most  needed.  Over  twenty  of 
the  young  men  of  the  village  enlisted  in  the  loyal  army ;  two  of 
them  lost  their  lives  in  the  service  of  their  country,  and  to-day 
sleep  beneath  Southern  soil.  Seldom  has  White  Rock,  in  the 
winter  season  been  without  either  a  singing  school,  evening 
school  or  lyceum.  Its  '■  Excelsior  Club '  had  an  existence  of  over 
two  years. 

"  In  reviewing  the  history  of  this  village,  we  feel  the  con- 
viction that  it  has  contributed  materially  to  the  life  and  pros- 
perity of  the  town.     It  is  a  noble  witness  to  enterprising  men." 

NiANTlc. — This  village  has  been  called  by  different  names. 
The  oldest  designation  of  the  place  was  "  Shattuck's  Weir." 
Shattuck  was  the  name  of  an  Indian  who  was  associated  with 
the  early  history  of  the  place.  Later  still  it  was  termed  Dorrville, 
from  the  fact  that  most  of  the  residents  of  this  place  were  fol- 
lowers of  Thomas  Dorr.     Recently  the  name  has  been  changed 


to  Niantic.  The  fall  of  the  river  at  Shattuck's  Weir  bridge  was 
early  occupied  as  a  mill  privilege.  Stephen  Saunders  and  Dea- 
con Samuel  Gardner  built  the  present  bridge  there  prior  to  1758. 
A  saw  mill  at  that  time  was  put  up.  Works  were  also  erected  on 
the  north  side  of  the  stream,  but  these  were  destroyed  by  a 
freshet  and  never  reconstructed. 

Samuel  Gardner,  2d,  and  Augustus  vSaunders  owned  property 
in  1792  on  both  sides  of  the  stream.  A  grist  mill  was  next  built. 
Afterward  a  small  factory  for  custom  carding  and  cloth  dress- 
ing was  erected  by  Colonel  Joseph  Knowles.  Mr.  Knowles'  son, 
John  T.  Knowles,  put  up  the  first  woolen  mill,  running  only  four 
looms.  This  mill  was  finally  sold  to  William  P.  Arnold,  who 
failed.  The  present  wooden  mill,  superseding  the  old  one,  which 
was  burnt,  was  erected  by  Mr.  Arnold  in  1846,  in  which  year  the 
property  was  leased  to  Doctor  John  E.  Weeden  of  Westerly.  In 
1851  Doctor  Weeden  purchased  the  property.  In  1857  he  sold 
the  mills  to  Wager  Weeden,  his  father,  who  built  the  stone  mill 
in  1864.  From  1866  to  1868  the  mills  were  leased  and  operated 
by  the  Niantic  Woolen  Manufacturing  Company,  but  afterward 
passed  again  into  the  hands  of  the  Weedens,  Doctor  J.  E.  Weeden 
acting  as  agent  at  the  time  of  the  failure,  some  four  years  ago. 
The  Carmichael  Manufacturing  Company  then  took  it,  but  they 
failed  in  1886.     The  mills  are  now  idle. 

Isaac  Vars  was  one  of  the  first  residents  of  this  place,  coming 
here  in  1732.  The  house  in  which  he  lived  is  still  standing, 
and  is  now  occupied  by  Edwin  C.  Vars.  Isaac  Vars,  Jr.,  was 
the  father  of  Charles  Vars,  who  has  been  station  agent  at 
Niantic  for  the  Providence  &  Stonington  railroad  during  the  past 
forty-four  years.  Alfred  G.  Vars,  brother  to  Charles,  an  old 
merchant,  is  also  a  resident  of  this  village. 

The  first  store  in  Niantic  was  started  by  Isaac  Vars,  Jr.,  in 
1845.  He  kept  store,  the  post  office  and  express  office  for  thirty 
years,  keeping  the  post  office  until,  Cleveland's  administration. 
The  store  building  is  now  a  tenement  house,  and  was  occupied 
last  by  Amos  P.  Sims.  The  post  office  is  now  kept  by  George  C. 
James.  Joseph  Hiscox  built  the  next  store  in  1846,  and  he 
traded  here  some  thirty  years,  when  he  sold  out  to  Frank  Bur- 
dick  and  went  to  Westerly.  Peter  Parks  now  owns  this  store. 
In  1850  Alfred  G.  Vars  built  the  third  store  in  the  place,  in  which 
he  still  carries  on  trade.  John  E.  AVeeden  built  the  fourth  store 
in  1857.     It  was  occupied  last  by  B.  F.  Barber,  who  traded  there 


several  years.  In  1886  Enoch  W.  Vars,  son  of  Charles,  built  the 
drug  store.  He  is  a  registered  pharmacist,  and  has  been  in  the 
drug  trade  for  twenty  years. 

Joseph  Mumford  Knowles  bought  the  Niantic  property  of 
Samuel  Gardner,  and  moved  there  from  Mumford  mill  about 
1800.  He  and  his  wife,  Dorcas,  daughter  of  John  Tillinghast, 
of  Exeter,  R.  I.,  trace  their  descent  from  some  of  the  most 
noted  of  the  settlers  in  the  states.  John  Tillinghast  was  a 
cloth  dresser.  His  first  manufacturing  was  woolen  yarn,  which 
he  put  otit  to  be  woven  in  farmers'  families,  and  when  woven, 
dyed,  dressed  and  sold  it.  He  built  the  first  mill  at  Niantic, 
and  commenced  manufacturing  there  in  company  with  Rowse 
Babcock,  of  Westerly.  This  was  Mr.  Babcock's  first  venture  in 
the  manufacturing  business.  John  Tillinghast  afterward  sold 
the  Niantic  mill,  and  bought  at  Shannock,  and  built  the  first 
manufactories  there.  From  there  he  moved  to  East  Green- 

Joseph  M.  Knowles  is  a  descendant  of  William  Knowles,  the 
first  settler  on  five  hundred  acres  of  land  on  Kingston  Hill, 
now  owned  and  occupied  by  the  Potter  family.  Colonel  Joseph 
M.  Knowles  was  a  cloth  dresser.  He  dyed,  fulled  and  finished 
up  the  cloth  woven  in  farmers'  families.  Of  ten  children  born 
to  Joseph  and  Dorcas  Knowles,  two  died  in  infancy,  and  five 
sons  and  three  daughters  grew  to  maturity.  Joseph  Knowles 
was  apprenticed  to  Mr.  Stover  in  Stonington,  who  was  a  printer. 
He  afterward  went  to  Providence  and  formed  a  partnership 
with  Josiah  Jones,  and  subsequently  became  one  of  the  proprie- 
tors of  the  Providence  Journal,  of  the  firm  of  Knowles  &  An- 
thony. Jireh  M.  Knowles,  another  son,  was  a  manufacturer, 
and  was  also  president  of  the  Niantic  bank.  William  was  a 
lawyer  in  Providence.  Mumford  Gardner  lives  at  the  home- 
stead. Ann  Whitman  did  not  marry.  Celia  was  married  to 
John  Stanton,  and  after  his  death  became  the  second  wife  of 
Hon.  James  N.  Kenyon,  of  Charlestown. 

About  the  year  1825  Elder  Thomas  Tillinghast,  a  Six  Principle 
Baptist  minister,  having  charge  of  and  preaching  to  the  church 
in  Richmond,  worshipping  at  the  Wood  River  meeting  house, 
held  meetings  here  in  the  school  house.  He  was  an  earnest, 
emotional  evangelist,  drew  large  audiences,  and  eventually 
formed  a  society  in  Niantic  of  more  than  thirty  members.  He 
was  the  son  of  Elder  Pardon  Tillinghast,  and  his  son  Elder  Gil- 


bert  succeeded  him  in  the  Wood  River  church.  About  the  year 
of  1867  they  had  a  revival  and  built  a  meeting  house  near  Bur- 
dickville  in  Charlestown ;  and  since  the  death  of  Elder  Gilbert 
hold  meetings  there  occasionally.  Elder  Pardon  Tillinghast  was 
a  preacher  of  the  First  Baptist  church  of  Providence. 

Before  the  town  of  Westerly  was  divided  into  school  districts 
proprietary  schools  were  maintained  and  kept  a  few  months  at 
a  time  in  farmers'  houses.  Joseph  M.  Knowles  having  a  saw 
mill  and  woodland,  built  a  school  house  and  gave  it  free  of 
charge  to  the  district,  until  the  town  was  divided  into  districts. 
Thomas  Durfee,  the  first  teacher,  taught  the  first  school  about 
1824.  He  was  a  student  of  Brown  University.  School  the  next 
summer  was  taught  by  Lydia  Taft,  of  Uxbridge,  Mass.  These 
teachers  were  sent  out  by  a  society  in  Providence  interested  in 
promoting  education  in  the  state.  Miss  Taft  seems  to  have  had 
strong  religious  feelings  and  a  missionary  spirit.  Sally  Knowles, 
eldest  daughter  of  Joseph  M.  Knowles,  then  about  sixteen  years 
of  age,  became  an  ardent  Christian  professor.  She  afterward 
taught  school  at  Niantic  and  near  Potter  Hill.  She  established 
and  kept  the  first  Sabbath  school  at  Niantic,  and  also  the  first 
year  in  Potter  Hill  and  Ashaway.  At  Niantic  she  raised  money 
and  bought  a  small  library  consisting  of  scripture  question  books, 
etc.  The  school  was  opened  with  prayer  and  conducted  much 
like  week  day  schools  of  the  period. 

She  was  married  to  E.  B.  Lewis  and  moved  to  Hampton,  Conn. 
Her  eldest  son  is  principal  in  charge  of  the  schools  of  a  school 
district  in  New  Haven.  Several  of  her  grandchildren  are  teach- 
ers, and  two  of  them  are  graduates  of  Yale  College. 

The  post  office  building  was  erected  by  Peter  Parks  in  1887. 

"  Encouraged  by  Doctor  Weeden,  the  pastor  of  the  First  Bap- 
tist church  at  Westerly  commenced  regular  meetings  in  the  vil- 
lage, in  a  private  residence,  the  boarding  house.  These  meet- 
ings finally  restilted  in  the  formation  of  a  regular  Baptist  church 
in  1851,  termed  the  Niantic  Baptist  church,  which  counted  seven- 
teen constituent  members.  In  the  meantime  a  meeting  house 
was  erected  at  a  cost  of '$1,000.  The  house  measures  28  by  38 
feet,  has  38  slips,  and  seats  near  two  hundred  persons.  The  first 
regular  pastor  of  this  church  was  Reverend  Simon  B.  Bailey,  and 
the  first  deacon  was  George  W.  Champlin. 

"  A  small  Sabbatarian  church  was  embodied  in  this  vicinity  in 
1858,  and  in  1866  secured  a  meeting  house.     This  house  formerly 


stood  on  the  site  of  the  houses  occupied  by  the  First  Sabbatarian 
church  of  this  region,  having  been  erected  there  by  a  disaffected 
few,  on  the  removal  of  the  large  house  to  the  vicinity  of  Potter 
Hill  and  Ashaway,  and  thence  called,  from  the  circumstance  of  its 
origin,  the  '  Spunk  Meeting  House.' 

"  A  bank,  called  the  Hopkinton  Bank,  was  organized  here  in 
185-,  with  a  capital  of  $200,000.  The  officers  were  Stephen 
Wright,  president ;  D.  M.  C.  Stedman,  cashier.  By  the  financial 
reactions  of  1857,  this  institution  was  crippled  and  finally  closed." 

The  Indian  Church. — Roger  Williams  was  the  sincere  and 
constant  friend  of  the  Indians.  He  labored  earnestly  and  lov- 
ingly for  their  temporal  and  spiritual  welfare,  and  they  never 
wholly  forgot  the  important  and  happy  truths  he  announced. 
He  was  intimate  with  King  Ninigret  and  labored  with  the  Ni- 
antics  to  bring  to  them  the  glad  tidings  of  the  Gospel.  The 
church  was  formed  in  1750.  Samuel  Niles  an  Indian  exhorter, 
was  also  a  zealous  and  efficient  exhorter  among  these  people. 

"  Backus  states  that  the  first  ordained  minister  of  this  church 
was  James  Simons,  a  member  of  the  tribe.  The  date  of  his  min- 
istry is  not  given.  Reverend  Samuel  Niles,  born  on  Block  Island 
in  1674 ;  a  graduate  of  Harvard  College  in  1 699  ;  a  preacher  in 
Kingstown  from  1702  to  1710 ;  ordained  in  Braintree,  Mass.,  in 
1711 ;  the  author  of  several  works,  among  which  is  a  History  of 
the  French  and  English  Wars,  written  in  1760 — in  his  latter  years 
'  returned  to  Rhode  Island,  and  became  pastor  of  a  church  in 
Charlestown  composed  chiefly  of  Indians.'  This  record  must 
refer  to  the  church  of  the  Niantics.  As  Mr.  Niles  was  a  Presby- 
terian, this  church,  like  other  New  Light  bodies,  practised  mixed 
communion.  Both  from  this  fact,  and  from  the  unstable  ele- 
ments in  the  tribe,  the  history  of  the  church  has  been  checkered, 
and  its  fortunes  have  followed  the  waning  life  of  the  tribe.  It  is 
now  a  Free  Will  Baptist  church,  in  a  weak  condition,  agitated 
by  Advent  doctrines,  and  conspicuous  chiefly  for  its  annual  mass 
meetings  in  August,  after  an  old  Indian  custom. 

"  By  the  records  of  another  church,  we  find  that  Elder  Thomas 
Ross  was  officiating  here  in  1770.  The  next  minister  was  Samuel 
Niles,  a  member  of  a  tribe  (not  to  be  confounded  with  the  Samuel 
Niles  named  above,  who  died  in  1762,  aged  eighty-eight  years). 
Under  the  ministry  of  this  second  Samuel  Niles,  the  first  meet- 
ing house  was  erected,  and  much  prosperity  attended  the 
church.     Mr.  Niles  was  reported  to  be  '  one  of  the  most  eminent 


Indian  preachers  in  America.'  The  revolution  seriously  affected 
this  as  well  as  all  other  churches.  Some  of  its  members  entered 
the  patriot  army.  At  the  close  of  the  war  the  body  numbered 
only  fifty  members  ;  the  congregation,  of  course,  was  much  larger. 
After  Mr.  Niles's  pastorate  the  body  was  weakened  by  changes, 
and  especially  by  the  modification  of  the  life  of  the  tribe. 

"  John  Sekatur  was  the  successor  of  Mr.  Niles,  and,  like  his 
predecessor,  left  a  good  memory  among  his  people.  The  last 
important  minister  was  Moses  Stanton,  ordained  March  17th, 
1823 — an  upright,  faithful  man,  who  toiled  effectively  for  his 
fading  tribe,  but  finally,  near  1844,  emigrated  to  Ann  Arbor  in 
Michigan,  where  he  died — having  met  with  a  fatal  accident 
while  engaged  in  digging  a  well.  In  1827  the  church  numbered 
ninety-three  members.  Near  this  time  the  deacons  were  Samuel 
Nocake  and  Samuel  Fletcher. 

"George  Champlin,  ordained  as  an  evangelist  by  this  body, 
August  16th,  1841,  afterward  established  a  church  in  War- 
wick, R.  I.,  and  thence  moved  to  Providence.  Aaron  Sekatur, 
the  last  regular  pastor  of  the  church,  was  ordained  near  1858. 
He  was  more  of  an  exhorter  than  a  preacher. 

"The  feeble  body  yet  remaining  has  latterly  been  bruised  and 
poisoned  by  wandering  errorists.  Some  men  of  judgment,  how- 
ever, remain.  The  clerk  serving  the  body  in  1869  was  Joshua 
Noka,  who  is  a  speaker  as  well  as  a  scribe.  The  present  meet- 
ing house,  composed  of  stone,  was  built  near  1860,  upon  the  site 
of  the  former  house,  in  a  secluded  spot,  apart  from  the  frequented 
roads,  though  on  an  open  way.  This  may  one  day  be  the  last 
monument  of  civilization  left  by  the  once  mighty  Niantics. 

"  But  for  the  existence  and  influence  of  this  Christian  church, 
doubtless  the  remnant  of  the  Niantic  monarchy,  like  the  most  of 
the  other  tribes  in  our  land,  would  long  since  have  passed  away. 
Like  salt  it  has  preserved  them  from  utter  decay.  From  this 
church,  as  a  radiant  center,  knowledge  and  power  has  constantly 
flowed  to  the  humble  abodes  of  these  children  of  the  forest. 
Human  language  cannot  express  all  the  enlightening,  restrain- 
ing, purifying,  elevating,  redeeming  influences  of  a  Christian 

Presbyterian  Church.— This  church  was  organized  under 
the  direction  of  the  "  New  England  Society  for  the  Propagation 
of  the  Gospel,"  the  Reverend  Joseph  Park  being  sent  May,  1733, 
to  the  Indians  and  such  English  as  would  attend  in  Westerly. 


The  house  of  -worship  was  probably  erected  soon  after  Mr.  Park's 
coming  to  Westerly.  To  this  church  belongs  the  honor  of  insti- 
tuting the  first'Sabbath  school  in  the  town,  and  one  of  the  first 
in  the  state. 

The  Union  Meeting  House. — This  house  lately  stood  on  the 
knoll  in  the  center  of  the  village.  Mr.  Denison,  quoting  another 
writer,  when  speaking  of  this  house,  says ; 

"  Of  the  origin  of  this  house,  a  worthy  friend  writes  as  fol- 
lows :  '  I  would  not  detract  from  the  merits  of  others,  who  labored 
to  erect  that  house  of  worship,  but  it  seems  to  me  there  was  one 
modest  young  man  teaching  a  select  school  in  Westerly  at  that 
time,  whose  name  and  exertions  in  this  connection  should  not  be 
forgotten.  I  refer  to  Charles  P.  Otis,  afterward  a  distinguished 
professor  and  teacher  in  Bacon  Academy,  Colchester,  Conn.  He 
was  a  Congregationalist,  and  at  his  death,  January  7,  1837,  was  a 
deacon  of^that  faith.' 

"  Mr.  Otis  was  born  April  22d,  1790.  On  his  father's  farm  till 
seventeen  years  of  age,  he  carried  books  in  his  pockets  into  the 
field,  and  always  had  one  within  reach  at  the  house — a  habit  that 
characterized  him  through  life.  Prior  to  his  services  in  Westerly 
he  was  a  teacher  in  Montville,'Conn.  He  left  Westerly  in  1824 
to  pursue  his  studies  in  Colchester  and  in  Williams  College,  from 
which  he  was  called  to  act  as  principal  of  Bacon  Academy  from 
1826  till  his  death.  He  received  the  degree  of  A.  B.  from  Wil- 
liams College,  and  the  honorary  degree  of  A.  M.  from  Yale  Col- 
lege in  1829.  In  industry,  method,  zeal,  scholarship,  purity,  and 
piety,  he  was  an  uncommon  man.  Dying  before  he  had  reached 
his  forty-seventh  year,  he  was  greatly  mourned.  His  monument 
stands  in  the  cemetery  in  Colchester. 

"  The  village  of  Westerly  owes  not  a  little  to  his  influence,  and 
several  of  the  first  business  men  of  Westerly  were  trained  under 
this  accomplished  teacher.  Mr.  Otis  was  said  to  have  originated 
the  plan,  and  by  personal  solicitation  to  have  secured  the  funds 
for  erecting  the  Union  House,  exertions  of  which  he  always  spoke 
with  satisfaction. 

"  The  plan  contemplated  the  accommodation  of  all  Christian 
denominations,  as  the  citizens  might  be  able  to  secure  preaching. 
The  house  was  built  in  1822,  the  architect  being  Mr.  Benjamin 
Palmer.  It  was  the  property  of  stockholders  who  held  it  by 
charter  under  certain  stipulated  regulations.  A  fund  was  also 
raised  for  the  maintenance  of  worship.     William  Woodbridge, 


Esq.,  of  Stonington,  gave  $400  on  condition  that  the  citizens 
should  raise  an  equal  amount,  which  condition  was  met.  To 
this  was  added  $2,800  realized  by  a  chartered  lottery  scheme. 
Thus  the  fund  rose  to  $3,600.  The  dedication  sermon  was 
preached  by  Rev.  David  Austin,  a  Congregational  clergyman  of 
Connecticut,  a  man  of  true  piety  and  great  eloquence,  but  un- 
fortunate, in  after  years,  in  his  views  of  prophecy. 

"  Here  rose  the  first  church  steeple,  and  here  rang  out  the  first 
church  bell  in  this  town.  Here  also  was  gathered  the  first  or- 
ganized choir  of  singers,  under  the  leader.ship  of  Mr.  George  W. 
Gavitt.  They  officiated  in  the  dedication  of  the  house,  and  Mr. 
Gavitt  remained  the  choir  leader  more  than  twelve  years.  Here 
likewise  the  first  instrumental  music  in  worship  was  introduced, 
though  not  without  some  opposition  of  sentiment.  After  a  bass- 
viol  had,  not  without  struggles,  found  its  way  into  the  gallery  on 
one  occasion,  Mr.  Ebenezer  Brown,  who  for  the  time  was  con- 
ducting the  worship,  rose  and  gravely  introduced  the  services  as 
follows:  'We  will  fiddle  and  sing  the  139th  Psalm.'  And  the 
spirit  of  the  choir,  on  the  occasion,  was  illustrated  in  their  leader, 
who,  turning  to  the  bass  violinist,  said,  '  Now  put  in  ;  bear  on  all 
you  know.' 

"  Mr.  Brown  was  always  strongly  opposed  to  shams  and  hollow 
ceremonies.  Against  all  such  things  he  hurled  the  heavy  shafts 
of  irony  and  displeasure.  In  him  were  all  the  elements  of  a 
genuine  iconoclast.  He  sometimes  traveled  abroad,  especially  in 
the  state  of  New  York,  where  he  at  times  exercised  his  ministry. 
Returning  from  one  of  these  tours,  in  which  he  had  preached 
often  in  various  churches,  and  had  been  grieved  at  the  modern 
innovations  that  prevailed,  and  more  particularly  on  account  of 
the  use  of  stringed  instruments  among  choirs,  he  was  asked  in 
reference  to  the  state  of  religion  in  the  regions  he  had  visited. 
He  sternly  replied,  '  It  is  all  catgut  and  resin  religion.'  He  cer- 
tainly belonged  to  the  class  of  independent  men. 

"  For  some  years  after  the  house  was  opened,  except  when 
some  famous  minister  officiated,  the  congregations  averaged  less 
than  fifty  persons  ;  the  population  of  the  village  was  still  small. 
At  one  time  the  proprietors  of  the  house  invited  and  urged  the 
'  Hill  Church '  to  leave  the  hill  top  and  occupy  this  house— a 
golden  opportunity  for  that  church,  and  most  unwisely  neglected. 

"  This  house  has  been  a  cradle,  where  each  Christian  denomi- 
nation now  existing  in  the  place,  except  the  Christian  church 


and  the  Catholic  church,  nurtured  their  sentiments  and  increased 
their  numbers  till  they  were  able  to  stand  alone. 

"  During  the  winter  of  1842-3  occurred  the  notable  religious 
interest  commonly  spoken  of  as  '  the  Scott  revival,'  as  the  Rev- 
erend James  L.  Scott,  then  a  Sabbatarian  preacher,  was  the  prin- 
cipal speaker.  The  interest  deeply  affected  all  the  churches  and 
greatly  added  to  their  numbers.  The  banks  of  the  river  were 
often  visited  for  baptismal  occasions.  Even  the  excellent  Epis- 
copal minister,  Reverend  William  H.  Newman,  practiced  im- 
mersion, and  in  this  manner  received  a  large  number  of  adults 
to  his  communion.  Many  people  flocked  from  the  adjacent 
towns  to  share  in  the  great  and  gracious  spirit  that  prevailed. 

"  Not  calm  or  sacred,  however,  have  been  all  the  hours  of  the 
history  of  this  house.  The  debates  that  have  here  occurred — on 
the  election  of  trustees,  the  methods  of  adrainistration,  the  dis- 
tribution of  the  income,  the  persons  allowed  to  hold  services,  the 
proportioning  of  time  to  denominations,  the  sufferance  of  traveling 
speakers  and  lecturers,  the  opening  of  the  doors  to  secular  affairs 
— could  they  have  been  written,  would  have  been  very  volumi- 
nous and  amusing,  rivaling  anything  of  the  sort  to  be  found  in 
a  village  of  this  magnitude,  and  furnishing  an  instructive  com- 
mentary on  the  feasibility  and  wisdom  of  those  compromises  that 
are  too  often  dignified  and  glossed  by  the  name  of  Christian 
unionism.  It  is  an  open  question  whether  this  edifice  proved  a 
union  or  a  disunion  house. 

"  The  secretary  and  treasurer  for  the  stockholders  of  this  house, 
from  the  time  of  its  erection  till  1862,  was  Mr.  Lyndon  Taylor. 
His  successor  was  Mr.  Edwin  Babcock,  who  held  the  office  until 
1872,  when  the  building  and  site  were  sold  to  the  town  of  West- 
erly, the  funds  divided  up,  and  the  corporation  ceased  to  exist. 
In  1874,  upon  the  site  of  the  Union  meeting  house,  the  town 
erected  a  town  building,  two  stories  in  height,  with  a  basement. 
The  basement  is  used  for  a  station  house  and  police  headquarters; 
the  first  floor  for  a  town  clerk's  office  and  council  chamber ;  and 
the  second  floor  for  a  town  hall." 

The  Gardner  Church. — As  a  legitimate  offspring  of  the  great 
revival  near  the  southeastern  portion  of  the  town  was  gathered 
another  church  of  Separatists  and  Baptists  constituted  and  ad- 
ministered much  like  the  Indian  church.  It  arose  in  the  latter 
part  of  the  last  century  and  maintained  its  existence  as  late  as 
1810,  but  the  organization  and  records  have  passed   away.     It 


was  usually  termed  the  Gardner  church.  The  first  pastor  was 
Reverend  John  Gardner,  and  he  was  succeeded  by  his  relative, 
Reverend  William  Gardner.  Never  possessing  a  house  of  wor- 
ship, this  body  held  its  meetings  at  private  residences,  particu- 
larly at  the  dwellings  of  Joseph  Gavitt,  Stephen  Stanton  and  Peleg 
Ross.  It  appears  from  the  letter  of  the  church  to  the  Groton 
Union  Conference  in  1802,  that  John  Gardner  was  pastor,  Wil- 
liam York,  clerk,  and  the  body  numbered  ninety-two  members. 
Ninety-six  members  were  reported  to  the  conference  in  1810. 
The  excellent  deacons  were  Joseph  Gavitt  and  Daniel  Stanton. 

The  Wilcox  Church. — This  church  was  organized  in  the  east- 
ern part  of  the  town  in  1765.  It  was  designated  as  the  "  Third 
Church  of  Christ  in  Westerly."  Its  principal  pastor  was  Mr. 
Wilcox,  and  it  was  known  as  the  Wilcox  church.  It  was  com- 
posed of  Separatists  from  the  Presbyterian  and  Sabbatarian 
churches,  with  a  few  Baptists  proper.  It  was  properly  a  New 
Light  body,  and  as  such  was  recognized  in  August,  1770,  by  a 
council  of  New  Light  churches.  The  meeting  house  was  raised 
July  16th,  1786,  and  the  church  then  had  one  hundred  and  sev- 
enty-seven members.  Reverend  Isaac  Wilcox,  the  first  pastor, 
was  ordained  February  14th,  1771.  Reverend  Jesse  Babcock  was 
its  last  pastor.     He  died  May  18th,  1844. 

The  Friends'  Society  was  established  in  3743.  The  house  of 
worship  for  Westerly  meetings  was  built  in  1744  at  a  cost  of 
about  ;^300,  near  the  residence  of  Mr.  Dunn,  on  the  north  side  of 
the  road,  A  small  cemetery,  called  the  Quaker  Burial  Ground, 
is  all  that  now  marks  the  spot.  Peter  Davis  was  the  first  notable 
speaker  here,  but  when  he  came  to  the  place  is  not  known.  He 
died  February  29th,  1776. 

River  Bend  Cemetery.— This  cemetery  is  beautifully  situated 
on  the  left  bank  of  the  PaM^catuck  river,  a  little  more  than  a  mile 
south  of  the  village  of  Westerly.  The  grounds  embraced  about 
twenty  acres,  artistically  laid  out  and  tastefully  ornamented.  It 
was  dedicated  in  1852.  For  many  years  after  the  dedication  it 
was  under  the  superintendence  of  Reverend  John  Taylor.  Fol- 
lowing him  came  other  superintendents,  and  lastly  Joseph  G. 
Pendleton,  who  took  charge  April  1st,  1874. 

Since  Mr.  Pendleton's  superintendency  the  cemetery  has  un- 
dergone a  marked  change.  New  grounds  have  been  purchased, 
on  which  a  great  amount  of  labor  has  been  expended.  After  the 
large  boulders  had  been  blasted  and  removed,  beautiful  avenues 


and  labyrinthian  walks  were  laid  out,  and  the  place  is  now  one 
of  the  handsomest  of  the  kind  in  the  country,  owing  largely  to 
the  fact  that  Mr.  Pendleton  is  adapted  particularly  by  inventive 
genius  for  the  work.  He  is  a  native  of  Westerly  and  is  a  stone 
mason  by  trade.  His  house  was  built  in  1887.  The  names  of 
the  present  officers  are  as  follows :  President,  George  S.  Green- 
man  ;  secretary  and  treasurer,  Harvey  Campbell ;  trustees,  Or- 
lando Smith,  James  W.  PoUette,  John  E.  Brown  and  Joseph  G. 

In  addition  to  the  ornamental  work  done  on  monuments  in  this 
yard,  and  which  will  compare  favorably  with  the  best  in  the 
country,  mention  should  be  made  of  some  of  the  beautiful 
statues,  that  are  not  only  beautiful  in  themselves  but  also  very 
instructive.  They  may  be  enumerated  by  name  as  follows :  1. 
Time  ;  2.  Meditation  ;  3.  Hope  ;  4.  Faith  ;  5.  Virgin  Mary  ;  6. 
A  Little  Cherub;  7.  Instruction,  etc.,  etc.,  each  in  itself  repre- 
senting some  great  truth. 

Grave-Yards. — Among  the  sacred  witnesses  of  the  town  of 
Westerly  are  the  many  ancient  grave-yards.  The  mere  mention 
of  these,  giving  the  locality,  will  be  sufficient. 

Allen  Ground  contains  the  remains  of  Captain  Samuel  Allen, 
wife,  and  members  of  his  family.  It  is  about  thirty  rods  south  of 
the  old  post  road,  on  the  farm  of  Saunders  Gavitt.  The  graves 
are  in  a  corner  of  a  meadow  uninclosed. 

Austin  Ground  contains  the  remains  of  Jedediah  Austin,  and 
probably  others  of  the  name.  It  may  be  found  in  an  old  orchard, 
on  grounds  of  J.  Thompson.  The  little  headstones,  now  sunk 
deeply  down,  are  evidently  very  old. 

Babcock  Ground  {!)  is  south  of  Mastuxet  brook,  on  the  slope  of  a 
hill  east  of  the  highway  leading  to  Lottery  village.  This  contains 
the  dust  of  John  Babcock  and  his  wife  Mary,  and  many  of  their 
descendants.    Captain  James  Babcock  was  buried  here  in  1736-7. 

Babcock  Ground  (2)  is  in  an  open  pasture  about  two  hundred 
yards  south  of  the  residence  of  William  Robinson  Frazier, 
not  far  from  the  railroad.  The  bodies  of  Elder  Elkany  Babcock 
and  his  wife  lie  here.  The  former  was  buried  in  1821,  in  his  84th 

Burdick  Ground  is  on  the  border  of  the  village  of  Westerly  in 
the  rear  of  the  house  and  garden  of  Joseph  H.  Potter,  on  High 
street.     John  Burdick  and  his  wife  Betsey  lie  buried  here.     He 
died  in  January,  1802. 


Barber  Ground  {1).  This  is  on  the  so-called  Case  Chapman  farm, 
and  contains  the  remains  of  Nathan  Barber  (who  was  buried  here 
in  June,  1816),  his  wife  Thankful,  and  other  members  of  his 

Barber  Ground  {'2)  is  in  a  meadow  uninclosed,  about  thirty  rods 
south  of  Mr.  Joshua  Barber's  residence.  Mrs.  Hannah  Barber, 
wife  of  Benjamin  P.  Barber,  and  others  of  that  name  lie  here. 

Blivcn  Ground  {!)  is  on  land  of  Henry  Bliven,  nearly  a  half  mile 
from  the  Post  road  on  the  west  side  of  the  cross  road  that  leads 
to  Dorrville.  Major  William  Bliven  was  buried  here  in  January, 
1834,  in  his  eighty-ninth  year.  Here  were  buried  John  Barker 
and  his  wife,  and  Edward  Bliven  1st,  2d  and  3d.  These  were 
the  early  owners  of  this  farm.  Edward  Bliven,  3d,  died  on  board 
the  notorious  prison  ship  "  Jersey." 

Bliven  Ground  (2)  is  in  the  eastern  part  of  the  town  on  lands  of 
Samuel  Saunders,  Sen.  Here  lie  the  remains  of  persons  of  vari- 
ous names,  but  all  members  of  the  Bliven  family. 

Brumbly  Ground. — William  Brumbly  (died  in  October,  1775), 
his  wife,  Elizabeth,  and  others  were  buried  here.  This  neglected 
yard  is  in  a  pasture  now  owned  by  Mr.  James  Babcock,  Sen. 

Carr  Ground  is  north  of  the  railroad  near  John  Macomber's 
bluff  of  ledges  in  an  open  pasture  ground.  Here  are  about  thirty 
graves.     Some  of  the  Vincent  family  lie  here. 

Chaniplin  Ground  is  south  of  the  Shore  road  on  the  old  Noyes 
farm  and  contains  the  remains  of  Mr.  William  Champlin  (who 
died  in  October,  1798),  his  widow,  Mrs.  Sarah  Champlin,  and 

Cliapnian  Ground  {I),  on  the  north  border  of  Chapman's  pond,  is 
where  Mr.  Sumner  Chapman  was  buried  in  December,  1812. 

Chapman  Ground  {2)  on  the  land  of  G.  W.  Cottrell,  is  where 
Joseph  Chapman  (died  in  June,  1856,)  and  others  of  his  family 
lie  buried. 

Chapman  Ground  {,3)  lies  on  Samuel  Chapman's  estate,  west  of 
the  Pound  road.  Samuel  Chapman  (died  in  June,  1838),  his 
daughter  Frances  and  others  of  that  family  lie  here. 

Chapman  Ground  (Jt)  is  on  Daniel  Chapman's  estate  on  the  west 
side  of  the  Pound  road.  George  C.  Chapman  and  others  of  more 
recent  times  lie  buried  here. 

Chapman  Ground  (5)  is  on  top  of  the  rocky,  sandy  ridge  on  the 
old  Chapman  farm.  Israel  Chapman  and  many  others  of  that 
name  lie  here. 


Chase  Ground  (1)  is  a  little  below  Westerly  on  the  old  Lewis 
farm,  afterward  known  as  tlie  Kenyon  farm,  and  contains  the  re- 
mains of  some  of  the  Chase  family. 

Ckase  Ground  {2)  is  near  the  residence  of  Mr.  Nathaniel  J.  L. 
Chase,  in  a  meadow  by  the  roadside.  Maxson  Chase  and  his 
wife  Polly  lie  here. 

Children's  Ground  is  a  few  rods  west  of  the  old  farm  northeast 
of  White  Rock  village,  on  land  owned  by  the  White  Rock  Com- 
pany. This  yard  contains  the  graves  of  a  dozen  children ;  no 
adults  are  buried  here. 

Church  Yard. — The  graves  here  are  very  numerous.  It  stands 
near  where  the  first  Sabbatarian  meeting  house  of  Westerly 
stood,  now  in  the  town  of  Hopkinton. 

Citizen  s  Ground  is  a  small  burial  place  inclosed  by  a  picket 
fence  on  a  knoll,  a  few  rods  north  of  the  residence  of  the  late 
Aaron  Pierce. 

Clarke  Ground  (1)  is  an  ancient  burial  ground  on  the  left  bank 
of  the  Pawcatuck  on  the  curve  above  the  Meeting  House  bridge, 
and  a  few  rods  east  of  the  Pound  road.  Here  lie  the  remains  of 
Reverend  John  Maxson,  the  first  male  child  born  on  the  island  of 
Rhode  Island.  He  was  born  in  the  spring  of  1638,  was  ordained 
pastor  of  the  Sabbatarian  church  in  Westerly  in  1708,  and  died 
December  17th,  1720,  in  the  83d  year  of  his  age.  Joseph  Clarke, 
the  brother  of  Doctor  John  Clarke,  the  first  settler  of  Newport, 
is  also  buried  here.  It  is  also  stated  that  the  remains  of  Tobias 
Saunders,  one  of  the  first  settlers  and  magistrates  of  this  town 
lie  in  this  yard. 

Clarke  Ground  (2)  is  southeast  from  the  Rhodes  ground  in  the 
adjoining  field,  and  about  five  rods  west  from  the  Potter  Hill 
road.  The  plow  has  invaded  these  sacred  remains,  and  nothing 
now  but  a  few  stones  are  seen. 

Clark  Ground  (3)  lies  in  the  eastern  portion  of  the  town  on  the 
estate  of  Mr.  Arnold  Saunders.  Ichabod  Clark  and  his  father, 
also  the  remains  of  his  wife  Polly,  and  his  son  Ichabod  Clark 
and  his  wife  Mary,  lie  in  this  yard. 

Clark  Ground  (^)  is  situated  in  the  northern  portion  of  the  town 
on  the  estate  of  Weeden  Clark.  William  Clark  and  a  number 
by  the  name  of  Clark  lie  buried  here. 

Other  burial  places  are  the  Cottrell  Ground  on  the  former  es- 
tate of  Russell  Cottrell ;  the  Cordner  Ground  on  the  land  of  Mr. 
Joseph  Hiscox  in  Dorrville ;  the  Crandall  Ground  {I)  in  the  south- 


eastern  part  of  the  town  ;  the  Crandall  Ground  (^)  west  of  the 
residence  of  Charles  Crandall ;  Crandall  Ground  {S)  on  the  east- 
ern side  of  the  town  farm  ;  the  Davis  Ground  on  the  farm  of  Mr. 
Oliver  Davis  ;  the  Dcnison  Ground  on  lands  of  Burrell  Thompson ; 
the  Dixon  Ground  a  few  rods  southwest  of  the  Dixon  mansion  ; 
the  Dodge  Ground  on  lands  of  the  late  Henry  C.  Gavitt ;  the  Dunn 
Ground  on  the  farm  of  John  K.  Dunn  ;  the  Dunham  Ground  not 
far  from  the  residence  of  Joshua  Barber ;  the  Foster  Ground  on 
the  farm  belonging  to  Edward  F.  Vose  :  the  Frasier  Ground  on 
the  farm  of  William  Robinson  Frazier ;  the  Peabody  Ground  on 
the  farm  of  Oliver  Davis ;  the  Friends'  Ground  on  the  old  post 
road  leading  to  Charlestown  ;  the  Gavitt  Grounds  (1)  {'2)  {3)  {4} , 
the  Green  Ground ;  the  Hall  Grounds  (l)  (:?)  (3) ,  the  Hardy  Ground 
on  the  west  margin  of  Burden's  Pond ;  the  Hazard  Ground ;  the 
Hiscox  Grounds  {I)  (2);  the  Indian  Grounds  {1)  (;.')  [3)  (i)  {5)  (6)  (7) 
(8)  (9)  (10)  (11),  situated  in  different  portions  of  the  town  and  con- 
taining mostly  the  remains  of  the  red  race  ;  the  Knowles  Ground 
in  the  village  of  Dorrville  ;  the  Lanphear  Grounds  (1)  (;?)  (3),  the 
Larkin  Ground  in  the  northern  portion  of  the  town  west  of  Dorr- 
ville (formerly  the  Larkin  farm) ;  the  Lewis  Ground  (1)  on  lands 
owned  by  George  D.  Cross  on  the  east  side  of  the  highway  lead- 
ing to  Lottery  village,  and  where  seven  generations  of  Lewises 
are  said  to  have  been  buried  ;  the  Leivis  Ground  (i2)  on  the  crest 
of  a  gravel  hill  south  of  the  house  of  Pardon  Lewis;  the  Noyes 
Ground  on  the  old  Noyes  farm,  and  where  lie  Colonel  Joseph 
Noyes  and  his  son  Colonel  Thomas  Noyes  ;  the  Nye  Ground,  a 
few  rods  west  of  the  cross  road  between  the  post  road  and  Dorr- 
ville, near  where  the  Pound  road  begins ;  the  Park  Ground,  a  few 
rods  east  of  the  residence  of  Christopher  Rathbun,  where  lies  Ed- 
win D.  Gavitt  of  the  Fourth  Rhode  Island  regiment,  who  was 
wounded  at  Newbern,  N.  C,  and  died  in  a  hospital  in  New 
York ;  the  Peckhaui  Ground  on  the  farm  of  Samuel  Peckham ; 
the  Peckham  Ground  ('2)  on  the  old  Daniel  J.  Peckham  farm  ; 
the  Peckham  Ground  (3)  in  the  northeastern  part  of  the  town ;  the 
Pendleton  Ground,  on  Graves'  Neck,  where  lie  the  first  generation 
of  the  Pendletons ;  the  Pendleton  Ground  (::?)  near  the  Citizen's 
Ground,  and  wherein  also  lies  a  long  remembered  slave  woman 
and  faithful  servant,  Phillis  Jumbo,  who  died  at  the  age  of  about 
one  hundred  years ;  the  Rathbun  Ground,  on  the  old  Samuel 
Champlin  farm ;  Rathbun  Ground  (;.'),  on  the  old  Ross  estate  ;  the 
Ray  Ground  on  the  old  Ray  estate  or  Guinea  Hollow,  in  honor  of 


the  country  of  the  mother  of  the  family,  who  was  colored  (She 
was  the  mother  of  Thomas  Ray,  and  came  from  Guinea,  and  was 
landed  on  Block  Island  from  the  famous  ship  "  Palatine."  Fall- 
ing into  the  hands  of  Colonel  Ray  Sands  of  Block  Island,  she 
adopted  the  name  of  Ray,  which  was  accepted  by  her  children. 
Thomas  Ray,  her  son,  lived  to  be  very  aged,  and  saw  four  gener- 
ations of  his  descendants.  His  grandson.  Reverend  Charles  Ray, 
has  been  for  many  years  an  able  Methodist  minister  in  New 
York.  Gideon  Ray,  his  brother,  was  drowned  at  the  beach  of 
Worden's  Pond.  The  family  was  highly  esteemed  throughout 
the  town) ;  the  Rhodes  Ground,  on  the  farm  of  Joshua  Thompson, 
some  twenty  rods  west  of  the  Potter  Hill ;  the  Saunders  Grounds 
(1),  (2),  (3),  (4^)  ;  the  Sheffield  Ground ;  the  Sims  Ground ,  the  Sis- 
sons  Grounds  (1),  {2) ;  the  Slaves  Ground,  about  four  rods  east  of 
the  Denison  and  Champlin  Grounds,  where  were  buried  slaves 
belonging  to  Samuel  Thompson  ;  the  Stetson  Ground,  on  lands  of 
Samuel  Peckham,  east  of  the  road  leading  into  Charlestown  ;  the 
Stillman  Ground,  where  lie  the  remains  of  William  S.  Peckham, 
who  served  six  years  in  the  revolution,  and  who  died  April  30th, 
1822,  aged  84  years,  and  his  son,  William  S.  Peckham,  Jr.,  a 
soldier  in  the  war  of  1812,  who  fell  in  the  battle  of  Lake  Erie, 
under  Commodore  Perry,  being  killed  in  the  boat  by  the  side  of 
his  commander ;  the  Thompson  Ground,  on  lands  of  Isaac  L.  Ed- 
wards ;  the  Vars  Ground,  on  the  farm  of  Isaac  Vars  ;  the  Vose 
Ground,  now  the  Town  Farm  ;  the  Ward  Ground,  on  the  ancient 
Ward  farm ;  the  White  Ground,  a  mile  and  a  half  west  of  Dorr- 
ville,  where  Major  Walter  White  was  buried  ;  the  Wilcox  Ground, 
on  the  ancient  Wilcox  farm  ;  the  York  Ground,  in  the  thirteenth 
school  district. 

The  above,  together  with  fifteen  other  grave  yards  that  have 
no  names,  constitute  the  grounds  in  which  the  remains  of  the  re- 
spective families  lie  buried.  Many  of  these  yards  have  but  a 
half  dozen  or  so  graves.  Their  number  sometimes  runs  up  to 
forty  or  fifty.  Many  of  them  are  unenclosed,  and  in  another 
century  the  people  will  be  as  ignorant  of  these  resting  places  as 
they  now  are  of  the  red  men's  graves. 


The  Village  of  Westerly,  Its  Location  and  Its  Business  History.— Early  Mills.— 
Grist  Mills.— Early  Woolen  Mills,  Foundries  and  Machine  Shops.— Printing 
Press  Manufactory.— C.  Maxson  &  Co.— Carriage  Business.— StillmanviJle.- 
Stillman  Jlill  and  Machine  Shops.— O.  M.  Stillman.— Early  Merchants  of 
Westerly.— The  Clothing  Business.— The  Furniture  Trade.— The  Grocery 
Trade.— The  Boot  and  Shoe  Trade.— Drug  Stores.— Hardware.— Public  Houses. 
—Banks  of  Westerly.— Schools.— Churches.— Fire  District.— Library  Asso- 
ciation.— Societies,  etc. 

THE  village  of  Westerly  was  formerly  called  "  Pawcatuck 
Bridge."  It  is  a  thriving  little  village  having  a  number  of 
churches  and  banks,  three  weekly  papers  and  one  enter- 
prising daily,  together  with  many  stores,  mills,  etc.  The  village 
is  situated  on  both  sides  of  the  Pawcatuck  river,  on  the  Provi- 
dence &  Stonington  railroad,  five  miles  from  Stonington,  forty- 
four  from  Providence,  and  eighty-eight  from  Boston. 

There  was  but  little  business  at  this  point  until  after  the  revo- 
lution. In  1750  the  place  contained  but  three  houses.  A  post 
office  and  a  store  were  first  opened  on  the  hill  top  at  the  east, 
both  being  kept  by  Doctor  Joshua  Babcock.  The  next  store  was 
opened  by  Mr.  Rowse  Babcock,  who  afterward  moved  into  the 
village,  where  he  died  in  1801.  This  store  was  continued  by 
General  William  Rhodes,  who  also  finally  moved  into  the  village. 
In  the  year  1800  there  were  not  fifteen  residences  in  this 

Westerly  has  always  had  quite  a  coast  trade,  large  schooners 
coming  directly  to  the  wharves.  Captain  Clark  Edwards  com- 
manded a  sloop  of  fourteen  tons  burthen,  and  did  the  first  coasting 
trade  from  this  port.  The  next  was  the  "  Transit,"  commanded 
by  Captain  Daniel  Bliven,  about  the  year  1816  or  1818. 

A  representative  New  England  town,  Westerly  has  always  been 
noted  for  its  manufactures  of  cotton  and'  woolen  goods.  The 
manufacture  of  printing  presses  and  machinery  has  also  been 


carried  on  here  extensively  in  the  past,  and  at  present  by  C.  B. 
Cottrell  &  Sons,  successors  to  Cottrell  &  Babcock.  The  first  or  old 
stone  factory  was  built  in  the  year  1814,  and  still  remains  situated 
on  Main  street  near  a  more  pretentious  building,  erected  in  1869, 
an  offspring  of  the  old.  Here,  in  this  old  mill,  was  commenced 
the  business  of  manufacturing,  from  which  has  originated  nearly 
all  if  not  all  of  the  cotton  and  woolen  manufacturing  establish- 
ments here.  The  Pawcatuck  Manufacturing  Company,  and  then 
Blodgett,  Stafford  &  Simmons,  successively,  were  the  first  to  con- 
duct business  in  the  old  mill,  manufacturing  woolen  cloths.  At 
their  commencement  the  war  between  England  and  the  United 
States  was  in  progress,  but  soon  peace  was  declared,  and  the  busi- 
ness not  being  as  profitable  as  they  wished  on  account  of  the  de- 
cline in  prices,  the  latter  sold  out  to  Babcock  &  INIoss,  who  con» 
tinned  the  business  successfully  many  years.  The  firm  was  dis- 
solved by  the  death  of  I^owse  Babcock,  the  senior,  Mr.  Moss  con- 
tinuing the  business.  Babcock  &  Moss,  also  Welcome  Stillman, 
were  all  prominent  in  Westerly  as  manufacturers,  and  their 
families  were  identified  closely  with  the  interests  of  the  place. 
The  business  has  been  until  lately  under  the  management  of  the 
Stillman  Manufacturing  Company,  but  the  mills  are  now  closed. 

"  Near  1800,  Mr.  Ebenezer  Brown  owned  a  grist  mill,  running 
two  sets  of  stones.  This  was  sold  to  Mr.  Joseph  Congdon  (from 
Fisher's  Island),  who  built  a  new  and  larger  mill,  which  he  finally 
sold  to  Mr.  Stephen  Wilcox,  who  sold  it  to  a  company  of  gentle- 
men from  abroad.  This  company,  called  the  Pawcatuck  Manu- 
facturing Company,  in  1814,  built  the  stone  mill,  in  which,  at 
first,  they  made  woolen  goods,  and  afterward  manufactured  cot- 
ton ;  but,  being  unsuccessful  in  business,  in  a  few  years  sold  to 
Messrs.  Blodgett,  Stafford  &  Simmons.  This  new  firm  purchased 
other  privileges  up  the  river,  at  Stillmanville  and  White  Rock, 
and  took  the  name  of  White  Rock  Company.  From  death  and 
other  causes  the  owners  in  this  company,  one  after  another,  sold 
to  Mr.  Rowse  Babcock,  3d,  and  Mr.  Jesse  L.  Moss,  who  retained 
the  name.  White  Rock  Company,  and  carried  on  the  largest  busi- 
ness in  the  town.  The  canal  from  Stillmanville  to  Westerly  was 
opened  in  1827.  The  White  Rock  Company  greatly  increased 
their  mills  and  machinery,  uniting  steam  with  the  power  of  the 

"  This  company  built  the  new  mill,  north  of  the  stone  mill,  48 
by  124  feet,  and  four  stories  high,  with  a  French  roof  in  addition. 


and  an  octagonal  tower  on  one  corner.  The  architect  was  Peleg 
Clarke,  Jr. 

"  In  the  southern  part  of  the  village — formerly  designated 
'  Bungtown,'  now  called  'The  Landing," — in  1811,  Mr.  Abiel 
Sherman  established  a  small  tannery,  afterward  sold  to  Colonel 
Peleg  Cross,  of  Charlestown,  whose  sons,  Nathaniel  and  Ben- 
jamin, operated  it.  Colonel  Cross  sold  to  William  D.Wells,  Esq., 
who  continued  the  business  till  the  heavy  fire  of  October  30th, 
1868,  destroyed  his  property.  Another  tannery  was  started  by 
Mr.  John  Cross,  afterward  operated  by  George  D.  Cross,  Esq.,  and 
lastly  by  Mr.  Billings.  Near  Mr.  Well's  tannery,  Mr.  Peleg 
Clarke,  Jr.,  erected  a  steam  mill  for  sawing  and  planing;  this  was 
sold  to  C.  Maxson  &  Co.,  and  was  also  destroyed  by  the  fire  of 
October  3()th,  1868." 

J.  P.  Babcock  and  P.  S.  Barber,  in  1875,  erected  a  steam  grist 
mill  for  the  specialty  of  grinding  and  introducing  the  real  Rhode 
Island  corn  meal,  having  a  longing,  it  was  said,  for  those  good 
old  fashioned  "Johnny  cakes,"  but  for  which  they  sighed  in  vain 
when  away  from  home.  The  capacity  of  the  mills  was  very 
great,  several  thousand  bushels  a  dcLj.  This  firm  also  manu- 
factured fine  family  soaps,  the  two  establishments  being  separate, 
but  controlled  by  the  same  parties. 

The  Westerly  Grist  Mill  and  Grain  Elevator  was  built  by  J. 
Hobart  Cross,  in  1881.  He  and  Mr.  E.  S.  Ball  put  in  machinery 
and  started  the  mill.  In  1887  the  property  was  purchased  of  E. 
S.  Ball  &  Co.  by  C.W.  Campbell,  J.  F.  Whitemarsh  and  C.  A.  Roby, 
and  is  operated  under  the  firm  name  of  Campbell,  Whitemarsh  & 
Co.  The  company  grind  about  one  thousand  bushels  of  corn  per 
week,  and  deal  in  all  kinds  of  grain,  in  wood,  hay,  etc. 

H.  S.  Berry  &  Co.  began  the  manufacture  of  woolen  goods  at 
Woodville,  R.  I.,  in  1856.  Mr.  Welcome  Stillman  was  a  member 
of  this  firm.  They  continued  until  Mr.  Stillman's  death,  when 
Mr.  Stanton  became  associated  with  Mr.  Berry.  They  manu- 
facture shirtings,  meltons  and  diagonal  cassimeres. 

H.  S.  Berry,  machinist  and  machinery  manufacturer,  also  car- 
ried on  a  large  business  in  manufacturing  wood  working  ma- 
chinery in  the  village  of  Westerly. 

The  foundry  now  known  as  the  Printing  Press  Manufactory 
was  built  by  Langworthy,  Potter  &  Co.  in  1846  and  1847,  for  the 
manufacturing  of  plows,  stoves,  etc.  In  July,  1855,  the  firm  of 
Cottrell  &  Babcock  was  formed,  consisting  of  Calvert  B.    Cot- 


trell  and  Nathan  Babcock.  The  firm  employed  at  that  time  about 
a  dozen  men  in  manufacturing  cotton  and  wood  working  ma- 
chiner}' ,  and  printing  presses,  and  in  1861  began  the  manufac- 
ture of  woollen  machinery.  In  1868  they  began  making  a 
specialty  of  printing  presses.  In  July,  1880,  Mr.  Cottrell  pur- 
chased his  partner's  interest  in  the  business,  and  associated  with 
him  his  three  sons  under  the  farm  name  of  C.  B.  Cottrell  &  Sons. 
To  the  growth  of  the  village  this  firm  has  contributed  much. 
Hundreds  of  houses  built  up  around  them  have  been  owned  and 
occupied  by  their  skillful  mechanics. 

N.  A.  Woodward  &  Co.,  manufacturers  of  all  kinds  of  hammers 
and  tools,  have  been  running  a  shop  in  Westerly  since  1879. 

C.  Maxson  &  Co.  are  architects,  builders,  lumber  dealers,  etc. 
The  business  was  established  by  Charles  Maxson  in  1837,  with- 
out any  of  the  advantages  of  machinery  or  power.  In  1843  Jon- 
athan Maxson,  Jr.,  came  into  the  firm,  at  which  time  the  broth- 
ers had  a  planing  mill  run  by  water  power,  and  the  various  kinds 
of  wood-working  machinery  were  added.  In  1846,  the  father  of 
the  above-named,  Jonathan  ilaxson,  Sr.,  joined  them  in  the  bus- 
iness and  the  firm  was  styled  C.  Maxson  &  Co.  Mr.  Maxson,  Sr., 
died  in  1852.  In  1851  B.  W.  Bentley,  a  brother-in-law,  purchased 
an  interest  in  the  business  which  he  held  until  1870,  when  he  re- 
tired. William  jSIaxson,  another  brother,  entered  the  firm  in 
1853,  and  the  business  has  been  carried  on  till  the  present  time 
under  the  old  name. 

Other  lumber  dealers  in  the  place  were  Sherman  &  Burdick,  suc- 
cessors to  W.  &  H.  Langworthy  in  1880,  and  George  N.  Burdick, 
successor  to  Sherman  &  Burdick  in  1886.  W.  &  H.  Langworthy 
have  carried  on  business  in  Westerly  since  1845. 

The  carriage  business  was  established  in  the  village  fifty  years 
ago,  by  Sanford  Stillman,  and  for  the  last  twenty-two  years  con- 
ducted by  Mr.  C.  H.  Holdredge,  his  successor,  who  learned  his 
trade  of  Mr.  Stillman.  Mr.  Holdredge  built  here  in  1876.  He 
erected  a  building  one  hundred  feet  long,  two  stories  in  height, 
and  in  addition  a  large  shop.  He  carries  an  extensive  stock  of 
carriages  for  the  general  trade.  He  also  deals  in  harness  and  all 
kinds  of  carriage  furnishings  required  in  the  business.  Mr. 
Holdredge  makes  his  own  bodies.  He  employs  a  number  of 
hands,  and  is  doing  an  excellent  business.  He  is  the  patentee  of 
an  invention  for  boxes  for  carriage  wheels. 

The  Westerly  Woolen  Company's  plant  was  purchased  by  F. 


R.  White  &  Co.,  woolen  manufacturers,  of  Chepachet,  R.  I.,  in 
the  year  1875.  The  firm  consisted  of  F.  R.  White,  H.  C.  White 
and  William  O.  Arnold.  In  1877  the  company  bought  the  mill 
directly  across  the  river,  then  owned  by  O.  M.  Stillman,  and  op- 
erated it  in  connection  with  the  mills  on  the  Rhode  Island  side. 
Upon  the  death  of  F.  R.  White  in  1881,  Messrs.  W.  O.  and  L.  W. 
Arnold  bought  of  H.  C.  White  and  the  administratrix  of  F.  R. 
White's  estate,  all  their  interests  in  the  property  and  they  con- 
tinue to  operate  the  mill — one  of  the  most  extensive  in  the 
state — under  the  same  name,  Westerly  Woolen  Company.  The 
senior  member  of  the  firm,  W.  O.  Arnold,  was  elected  to  con- 
gress in  1887  to  represent  the  Second  district  of  Rhode  Island. 

Stillmanville. — This  village  lies  about  one-half  mile  north  of 
Westerly.  The  lands  occupying  the  present  site  of  this  village 
were  once  a  part  of  a  large  farm  belonging  to  Simeon  Pendleton, 
known  as  "  Gentleman  Simeon."  The  first  dam  across  the  river 
at  this  point  was  constructed  and  owned  in  main  by  Samuel 
Brand,  who  owned  and  operated  a  grist  mill  on  the  eastern  side. 
Subsequently  Mr.  Brand  sold  to  Sanford  Taylor,  and  the  dam  in 
1798  was  known  as  Sanford  Taylor's  dam.  The  place  at  first  was 
known  as  Brand  mill,  then  Burdick's  mill,  and  later  still  as  Still- 
manville. W.  O.  Arnold,  present  member  of  Congress,  and  his 
brother,  Lewis  W.  Arnold,  now  own  the  large  mills  at  this 

Captain  Saxton  Berry,  an  old  successful  sea  captain,  lived  a  half 
mile  above  Stillmanville,  and  in  one  room  of  his  house  (still 
standing)  is  an  old  eight  day  brass  clock  made  by  Deacon  Wil- 
liam Stillman  at  his  old  shop  at  the  "bridge,"  about  one  hundred 
years  ago.  This  was  the  first  clock  made  and  sold  by  him,  for 
which  the  sum  of  eighty  dollars  was  paid.  This  old  time  piece 
has  continued  to  tick  night  and  day  incessantly  ever  since.  Still 
farther  above  Captain  Berry's  house  is  the  old  gambrel  roofed 
house  once  occupied  by  Edward  Hiscox,  a  revolutionary  soldier 
who  assisted  in  the  capture  of  Prescott.  Weeden  H.  Berry,  a 
successful  farmer  and  well  known  resident  of  this  place,  is  a  de- 
scendant of  Saxton  Berry  above  mentioned.  Deacon  Jonathan  P. 
Stillman,  son  of  Deacon  William  Stillman,  was  born  February 
10th,  1798.  Jonathan  Stillman  and  his  brothers  learned  the 
machinist  trade,  working  in  the  shop  which  formerly  stood  on 
the  site  now  occupied  by  the  large  brick  mill  of  the  Stillman 
Manufacturing  Company. 


In  1842  he  and  his  brother,  Amos,  negotiated  for  the  purchase 
of  the  mill  at  the  west  end  of  Pawcatuck  bridge,  then  owned  by 
Horace  and  Jonathan'  Edwards.  That  mill  was  destroyed  by  fire 
while  they  were  on  their  way  from  Lisbon  to  Westerly  to  com- 
plete the  purchase  and  take  the  deed.  They  took  a  deed  of  the 
site  and  put  up  a  building  which  they  used  as  a  machine  shop 
until  it  was  destroyed  by  fire  in  1860.  They  then  put  up  the 
building  which  now  occupies  the  site,  and  which  is  known  as  the 
Stillman  mill.  About  1843  Mr.  Stillman  and  his  brother  bought 
about  five  acres  of  land  on  High  street,  then  covered  with  trees, 
on  which  they  built  each  of  them  a  house,  and  on  part  of  which 
have  since  been  built  the  residences  occupied  by  George  C. 
Lanphear,  George  B.  Utter,  C.  C.  Stillman  and  the  late  James  H. 

O.  M.  Stillman,  son  of  Ethan  and  Polly  (Lewis)  Stillman,  a 
machinist,  was  born  in  Connecticut  in  1801.  He  at  one  time  had 
a  shop  at  Leonardville,  New  York,  but  in  1825  he  and  Mr.  Asher 
M.  Babcock  operated  a  machine  shop  near  Sauquoit,  Oneida 
county,  New^York,  and  while  there  he  invented  the  well  known 
self  adjusting  temple  which  has  done  so  much  to  facilitate  power 
weaving.  Having  obtained  a  patent  for  his  inventions,  he  came 
to  Westerly  in  1826  or  1827,  and  began  making  temples  in  the 
shop  of  the  late  Deacon  William  Stillman,  on  the  site  in  Main 
street  afterward  occupied  by  the  woolen  mill  of  the  Stillman 
Manufacturing  Compan}-.  Afterward  he  bought  a  factory  of  the 
late  Mr.  Joseph  Schofield,  on  the  west  side  of  Pawcatuck  river, 
at  the  place  now  known  as  Stillmanville.  There  he  continued 
his  old  business,  and  subsequently  began  the  manufacture  of 
plaid  linseys,  and  he  continued  that  business  for  forty  years,  ex- 
tending from  time  to  time,  until  he  had  a  model  woolen  mill. 
He  was  not  only  a  manufacturer  of  a  good  quality  of  woolen  goods, 
but  also  an  inventor  of  some  good  patents,  including  the  plaid 
weaving  loom,  steam  engines,  hot  air  engines,  etc. 

Early  Merchants  of  Westerly.* — It  is  not  the  purpose  of 
the  writer  of  this  article  to  present  extended  biographies  of  any 
of  the  characters  herein  mentioned,  but  simply  to  record  the 
names  of  a  goodly  number  of  the  merchants  who  have  been  do- 
ing business  in  this  village  from  an  early  date  to  the  present 
time.  In  a  few  cases  we  have  digressed  to  give  short  sketches  of 
a  few  of  the  older  merchants,  which  we  think  will  be  of  interest 
to  our  readers. 
*By  Henry  E.  Chamberlin. 


The  places  of  the  pioneers  of  trade  and  traffic  were  located  on 
Main  street,  between  what  is  now  known  as  Chapman's  corner, 
near  the  bridge,  and  the  junction  of  Beach  and  Margin  streets. 
Men  are  now  living  who  remember  distinctly  the  primitive  mer- 
cantile establishments  of  those  days ;  in  fact,  a  few  of  them  are 
now  standing,  but  greatly  shorn  of  their  former  dignity  and 
prestige.  A  small  room,  low  studded  and  dark,  with  a  quintal  of 
fish,  a  hogshead  of  molasses,  and  a  barrel  of  New  England  rum 
as  a  basis  of  stock,  made  up  what  was  designated  a  "  store." 

About  the  year  1825  Resolve  Carr  kept  a  hat  shop  on  what  is 
now  known  as  Granite  street,  basement  of  Mrs.  Maxson's  dwell- 
ing. Isaac  Champlin  kept  a  grocery  near  the  new  post  office 
building ;  Isaac  West  and  his  brother  William  a  store  or  shop 
near  the  bridge.  John  Cross  kept  a  store  in  the  old  hotel  for  a 
few  years.  He  afterward  studied  law  and  practiced  in  Washing- 
ton county.  General  William  Rhodes  kept  a  store  on  the  corner 
where  the  Chapman  block  now  stands,  doing  business  there  some 
thirty  years.  George  Gavitt  manufactured  household  furniture 
and  burial  caskets.  His  rooms  were  on  Main  street,  near  what 
is  now  O.  D.  Hall's  bakery.  William  D.  Wells,  on  Main  street, 
did  an  extensive  business  in  the  tanning  of  hides.  He  kept  a 
number  of  hands  and  found  a  ready  market  for  his  goods.  Joshua 
Thompson  and  Thomas  W.  Segar  kept  a  trading  store  on  the 
west  side.  Rowse  Babcock  kept  a  store  on  what  is  now  East 
Broad  street,  opposite  the  First  Baptist  church. 

Other  merchants  were  :  Niles  Potter,  in  Potter  Block,  William 
Stillman  (drug  store),  Harry  Babcock  (shoe  store),  Thompson 
Noyes  (groceries),  George  Sheffield  (groceries  and  ship  building), 
William  Robinson  (drug  store.  He  also  practiced  medicine.), 
Peleg  and  Joshua  Noyes  (groceries),  Enoch  Lanphear  (shoe  shop 
on  lower  end  of  Main  street),  Robinson  R.  Frazier  (groceries),  J. 
Babcock,  Stephen  Wilcox,  Palmer  Welles,  Paul  Rhodes,  Ichabod 
Taylor,  Isaac  Champlin,  Lyndon  Taylor,  Geo.  W.  Moss,  Lemuel 
Vose,  George  D.  Cross  and  others  later  on  ;  William  Hutchinson 
(books  and  musical  instruments),  William  F.  Wallace  (jewelry), 
George  A.  Stanton  (boots  and  shoes),  J.  Alonzo  Babcock  (boots 
and  shoes),  Stanton  Babcock  (boots  and  shoes),  George  Stillman 
(groceries).  Nelson  Brown  (groceries),  Jean  Egger  (hair  goods), 
E.  A.  Lewis,  Joseph  H.  Crandall  (groceries),  L.  T.  Clawson  (mer- 
chant tailor),  Leander  Clark  (groceries),  Lyman  Kenyon,  A. 
Langworthy,  Ethan  Wilcox,  Charles  D.  Mann,  Frank  Coy,  E.  N. 








Denison  (jewelry),  Charles  W.  Willard  (stoves  and  tin  ware),  Job 
Sharp,  A.  L.  Chester,  James  Fyffe,  E.  B.  Clarke  (furniture),  E.  H. 
Burdick,  S.  C.  Burdick,  A.  B.  Collins,  Walter  Price,  A.  L.  Barber 
&  Co.  (druggists),  Jesse  L.  Moss  (factory  store),  John  Collins, 
E.  B.  Stockwell,  JohnR.  Champlin,  John  Leslie  (boots  and  shoes), 
H.  B.  Gavitt,  C.  H.  Hinckley,  Alfred  Stillman  (furniture),  Louis 
Frankenstein,  Louis  Gates,  Jacob  Stern  (dry  goods),  Henry  F. 
Douglass  (carpets). 

The  building  of  the  Dixon  House  introduced  to  the  citizens  of 
"Westerly  some  elegant  stores,  and  inaugurated  a  new  era  in  the 
dry  goods  trade.  Instead  of  the  low,  dark  antiquated  rooms  for- 
merly used,  we  now  behold  the  iron  fronts,  with  plate  glass, 
high  ceilings,  giving  them  at  once  a  metropolitan  appearance. 
Our  merchants  at  once,  with  commendable  pride,  caught  the 
spirit  of  improvement  and  more  extensive  stocks  were  kept. 
Trade  increased  and  Westerly  took  its  first  great  advance  step  in 
the  dry  goods  trade.  Among  the  first  occupants  of  these  stores 
was  the  late  James  F.  Pendleton,  whose  name  affords  pleasure  to 
recall.  He  built  up  an  extensive  business  and  by  his  courteous, 
genial  manners  and  obliging  disposition  secured  the  kind  re- 
gards and  good  wishes  of  his  many  friends  and  customers. 

Robinson  &  Hoxsie  were  cotemporaneous  with  the  above,  car- 
rying a  fine  line  of  dress  goods,  paper  hangings  and  carpets. 
This  firm  was  succeeded  by  Air.  John  B.  Brown,  present  occupant 
of  the  New  York  store,  whose  place  has  become  famous  for  goods 
of  intrinsic  worth  and  value.  The  proprietor  has  met  with  fair 
pecuniary  success,  carries  an  elegant  stock  and  has  built  a  fine 
residence  on  Grove  avenue. 

In  the  year  1870  Henry  E.  Chamberlin  opened  the  store  at  No. 
36  High  street.  The  wisdom  of  this  venture  was  questioned  by 
some  of  the  older  merchants.  Mr.  Chamberlin's  methods  of  do- 
ing business  at  once  attracted  a  large  and  profitable  trade,  and 
at  the  end  of  some  eighteen  years  of  vigorous  application  and 
hard  work  he  retired.  In  the  meanwhile  he  has  given  consider- 
able attention  to  real  estate  and  built  a  number  of  dwelling 

Samuel  G.  Babcock,  a  native  of  this  town,  commenced  his  mer- 
cantile career  with  the  late  David  Smith.  After  a  few  years  as 
chief  clerk  in  this  establishment,  he  purchased  the  entire  interest 
of  his  employer.  He  at  once  infused  new  life  into  the  business, 
displaying  consummate  skill  in  the  management  of  the  affairs  of 


the  old  house.  Years  came  and  went ;  every  day  found  Mr.  Bab- 
cock  at  his  post.  The  business  grew  rapidly,  the  old  store  be- 
came over-crowded  with  goods,  and  as  a  result  the  new  O.  D. 
Wells  block  was  erected  on  the  site  of  the  old  store,  east  end  of 
the  bridge.  Mr.  Babcock  had  sold  a  part  of  his  business  to  Mr. 
J.  H.  Thorp,  when  the  building  burned  in  February,  1888,  and  he 
retired  permanently  from  trade.  During  the  fifteen  years  he  at- 
tended to  every  detail  of  his  large  business  and  yet  found  time 
for  the  study  of  theology.  He  was  made  a  deacon  of  the  Episco- 
pal church,  and  was  in  the  habit  of  preaching  Sundays  in  adja- 
cent towns.  He  retires  from  a  short  but  successful  business 
career  with  the  best  wishes  of  a  host  of  friends,  and  an  ample 

David  Smith,  a  descendant  of  one  of  the  oldest  families  of  the 
town,  with  a  common  school  education,  commenced  his  clerkship 
with  Stephen  Wilcox  and  served  several  years.  About  the  year 
1838  he  engaged  with  the  late  O.  M.  Stillman,  and  eventually 
married  the  sister  of  his  employer.  Afterward  returning  to  Mr. 
Wilcox,  he  formed  a  co-partnership  with  the  latter,  doing  busi- 
ness in  the  old  store  at  the  east  end  of  the  bridge.  He  was  fair- 
ly successful  in  trade  and  finally  sold  his  business  to  S.  G.  Bab- 
cock. Mr.  Smith  was  a  man  of  strong  convictions,  thoroughly 
honest  and  commanded  the  respect  and  esteem  of  his  fellow 
townsmen  to  an  eminent  degree.  He  filled  several  local  offices, 
was  a  member  of  the  town  council,  school  commissioner,  etc.,  all 
of  which  trusts  he  discharged  with  fidelity  and  satisfaction  to  his 

Joseph  H.  Lewis  was  a  native  of  Charlestown,  this  county,  and 
after  receiving  a  common  school  education  came  to  the  village 
in  1828,  and  entered  the  store  of  the  late  Samuel  Vose,  in  whose 
employ  he  remained  some  ten  years.  At  this  juncture  a  co-part- 
nership was  formed,  but  owing  to  ill  health  it  terminated  at  the 
end  of  two  years.  To  recruit  his  health  he  sailed  the  sloop 
"Caspian"  from  this  port  one  season.  Giving  up  his  command 
he  was  induced  to  again  join  his  former  partner  in  trade,  the 
firm  name  reading  J.  H.  Lewis  &  Co.  The  firm  prospered  and 
in  a  short  time  built  the  brick  block  which  for  a  long  time  was 
the  pride  of  the  town.  Mr.  Vose  survived  this  partnership  but  a 
few  years,  when  Mr.  Lewis  continued  the  business  alone  until 
the  spring  of  1888.  He  is  possessed  of  sterling  qualities  and  not- 
withstanding he  has  met  with  financial  losses  through  the  kind- 


ness  of  his  heart  and  the  cupidity  of  others,  he  retires  with  an 
ample  fortune.  In  manners  he  is  retiring,  never  seeking  office 
or  notoriety,  attending  strictly  to  his  own  business.  He  is  one 
of  the  charter  members  of  the  National  Niantic  Bank,  and  has 
been  a  director  in  the  same  institution  for  a  number  of  years. 
He  was  elected  a  member  of  the  town  council  but  refused  to 
serve.  He  has  been  director  in  River  Bend  Cemetery  Associa- 
tion. He  retires  from  active  business  to  enjoy  the  fruit  of  his 
labors  and  the  good  wishes  of  his  friends. 

Captain  William  C.  Pendleton  was  a  native  of  this  town,  spent 
all  his  life  here,  and  is  closely  identified  with  the  history  of  the 
place  for  the  last  half  century  and  has  also  been  known  through 
all  the  contiguous  country.  He  was  a  man  of  unusual  sagacity, 
well  posted  in  matters  that  came  under  his  observation.  Con- 
sulted by  every  one  as  the  best  informed  man  of  the  vicinity,  he 
was  the  more  incited  to  inform  himself.  He  acquired  the  title 
of  captain  from  being  commander  of  the  sloop  "  Caspian  "  for  a 
number  of  years.  Later  in  life  he  spent  most  of  his  time  in 
his  store,  lower  end  of  Main  street.  He  was  a  firm  believer 
in  his  own  judgment  and  always  outspoken.  Had  he  had  the 
advantages  of  a  liberal  education  his  influence  and  fame  would 
have  made  him  a  power  in  south  county.  He  was  a  safe  counselor. 
He  administered  upon  many  estates,  and  the  poor  in  need  of 
advice  went  to  him  and  always  got  it.  Widows  with  encum- 
bered estates  to  settle,  soldiers  entitled  to  pensions,  neighbors 
in  fear  of  or  engaged  in  litigation,  all  found  in  him  a  sympa- 
thetic and  wise  adviser,  always  willing  to  give  time  to  hearing 
and  counseling  without  price.  He  enjoyed  many  local  offices, 
was  a  member  of  the  First  Baptist  church,  and  for  many  years 
a  director  in  the  National  Phenix  Bank.  Notwithstanding  his 
advanced  age  Captain  Pendleton  retained  his  faculties,  and  his 
loss  as  a  friend,  a  citizen  and  a  helper  in  every  good  work  is 
greatly  felt  in  this  community. 

One  of  the  most  respected  and  prominent  merchants  of  our 
village  was  James  H.  Porter,  born  in  Berlin,  Conn.,  in  1814.  After 
receiving  a  common  school  education  he  served  an  apprentice- 
ship in  the  tinware  business,  he  being  one  of  a  company  that 
was  foremost  in  introducing  tin  plate  into  New  England.  He 
came  to  Westerly  in  1840  and  at  once  began  the  manufacture  of 
tinware  on  High  street,  meeting  with  success.  Ten  years  later 
Mr.  John  Loveland  was  admitted  a  partner,  and  for   the  next 


twelve  years  a  very  profitable  business  was  done.  Meantime 
Mr.  Porter  married  the  daughter  of  Captain  William  C.  Pendleton, 
who  proved  a  faithful,  dutiful  and  Christian  wife.  About  the 
year  1863,  Mr.  Loveland  retiring,  Mr.  Porter  pursued  the  busi- 
ness alone  until  his  death.  He  was  possessed  of  a  kind  and 
obliging  disposition,  and  earned  and  retained  the  confidence  of 
his  friends  and  patrons  to  a  great  degree.  The  poor  and  needy 
never  asked  in  vain,  for  through  his  pleasant,  beaming  face 
could  be  seen  a  noble,  generous  heart.  He  was  extremely  modest 
and  retiring,  never  seeking  political  places  or  notoriety.  He  was 
a  director  in  the  National  Phenix  Bank  for  many  years,  and  a 
member  and  trustee  of  the  First  Baptist  church,  in  which  he 
manifested  a  good  degree  of  interest  until  the  day  of  his  death. 
On  the  whole  his  was  a  life  from  which  the  young  may  draw 
lessons  of  encouragement  and  will  do  well  to  emulate. 

A  striking  contrast  exists  to-day  in  the  appearance  of  Main 
street  from  that  of  three-quarters  of  a  century  ago.  It  is  true 
that  no  material  change  has  been  made  in  the  lines  of  the  high- 
way, and  many  of  the  old  landmarks  still  appear,  yet  should  Mr. 
Ebenezer  Brown,  who  run  the  grist  mill  near  the  bridge,  or  his 
contemporaries,  be  enabled  to  view  the  scene,  undoubtedly  their 
astonishment  would  surpass  that  of  Rip  Van  Winkle.  Where 
once  stood  the  little,  primitive,  sunburnt  store  can  now  be  seen 
huge  blocks  constructed  from  pressed  bricks  and  cut  granite ; 
elegant  stores,  with  plate  glass  fronts,  now  greet  your  gaze,  while 
the  flash  of  the  electric  light  dazzles  the  eye.  Great  manufactur- 
ing establishments  appear  in  full  view,  and  the  hum  of  a  thous- 
and spindles  sings  in  your  ears.  Vast  piles  of  lumber  and  coal 
cover  our  docks,  and  where  once  the  red  man  stepped  from  his 
canoe  to  the  sandy  shore,  ships  now  come  and  depart. 

Hon.  Henry  E.  Chamberlin,  the  writer  of  the  above  sketches, 
is  a  native  of  Woodstock,  Windham  county.  Conn.  In  early  life 
he  served  a  clerkship  under  the  late  George  M.  May  &  Co.,  mer- 
chants, of  Hartford,  Conn.,  and  later  pursued  the  dry  goods  trade 
in  Stafford  Springs,  same  state.  In  1870  Mr.  Chamberlin  came 
to  Westerly,  where  he  carried  on  the  dry  goods  business  without 
resorting  to  "  tricks  in  the  trade,"  and  made  a  success  of  it.  At 
the  age  of  eighteen  years  he  was  appointed  paymaster  of  the  Elev- 
enth Connecticut  Regiment,  on  the  staff  of  the  late  Colonel  Jud- 
son  Mills  Lyon,  and  has  held  various  other  offices.  In  1885  he 
was  elected  first  representative  from  Westerly  to  the  general  as- 


sembly,  and  served  three  years,  and  was  active  in  the  passage  of 
the  Fifth  Amendment  to  the  constitution.  Mr.  Chamberlin  is 
a  member  of  the  First  Baptist  church  of  Westerly,  and  has  al- 
ways taken  a  lively  interest  in  the  growth  and  prosperity  of  the 
,  village. 

The  Clothing  Trade.* — There  is  a  vast  difference  between 
the  clothing  business  of  to-day  and  that  of  fifty  years  ago.  In 
those  days  of  homespun  and  calico,  people  were  content  with  one 
suit  in  a  year  or  two,  and  in  most  cases  that  was  made  at  home  by 
the  never  tiring  mothers  and  wives,  and  did  not  fit  much  better 
than  the  common  every  day  overall  of  the  present  day.  Very 
rarely  could  they  afford  to  have  regular  tailors  make  their 
clothes,  and  when  they  could  the  fit  would  be  a  very  little  im- 
provement over  the  home  made.  But  time  has  changed  all  this, 
and  what  is  now  lost  in  the  wearing  qualities  of  the  old  home- 
spun and  tweeds  is  made  up  in  the  style,  fit  and  cheapness  of  the 
cassimeres  and  worsteds. 

During  the  past  fifty  years  a  new  kind  of  clothing  business  has 
sprung  up,  a  business  that  has  made  such  rapid  strides  that  it  is 
nearly  in  advance  of  any  other  in  the  world,  and  that  is  the  ready 
made  clothing  business.  No  city,  no  town,  no  village  in  this  vast 
country  of  any  importance  whatever  is  without  its  ready  made 
clothing  store,  supplying  the  working  man  and  banker  alike, 
whether  rich  or  poor,  big  or  little,  fat  or  lean,  crooked  or 
straight,  all  are  fitted  in  a  few  minutes,  as  if  by  magic. 

There  is  no  town  of  its  size  in  New  England  that  does  as  much 
business  in  custom  and  ready  made  clothing  as  Westerly.  Sit- 
uated between  and  within  a  few  hours  ride  of  two  of  the  largest 
clothing  and  cloth  markets  in  the  world.  New  York  and  Boston, 
near  the  ocean  and  upon  the  Shore  Line  railroad,  it  has  many 
advantages  superior  to  other  towns  of  its  size.  It  draws  its  trade 
in  this  line,  south  as  far  as  the  Atlantic,  and  twenty-five  miles  in 
any  direction.  It  is  no  unusual  thing  to  see  people  twenty  and 
twenty-five  miles  away  from  home  trading  in  this  and  in  other 
lines.  The  early  history  of  the  custom  tailor  business  in  West- 
erly dates  back  further  than  the  oldest  living  inhabitant  can  re- 
member. It  would  be  impossible  to  give  the  name  of  the 
"pioneer  "  tailor,  as  there  were  so  many  who  took  in  sewing  of 
that  kind  in  those  days  of  no  sewing  machines;  but  the  first  man 
to  put  out  his  "shingle "  for  public  patronage  as  a  custom  tailor 
*By  George  H.  Babcock. 


was  one  John  Cranston,  in  the  year  1802.  He  kept  store  at  the 
corner  of  what  are  now  Union  and  Main  streets,  in  what  was 
known  as  the  Cranston  House.  The  house  is  still  in  good  con- 
dition, and  is  occupied  partly  as  a  tenement  and  partly  as  a  store. 
Very  little  is  known  of  Cranston  as  a  tailor,  but  judging  from 
the  stories  of  some  of  the  oldest  inhabitants  who  were  his  cus- 
tomers, the  fits  that  he  gave  were  never  too  small.  It  is  said  that 
the  pants  were  always  supplied  with  enough  extra  cloth  in  the  seat 
to  make  a  lady's  sacque,  but  this  cannot  be  vouched  for.  Crans- 
ton continued  in  business  for  fifteen  years  or  more.  In  the  mean- 
time, about  the  year  1806,  John  Allen  had  opened  a  custom  tailor 
shop  on  Broad  street,  not  far  from  the  present  site  of  the  Dixon 
House ;  the  building,  with  a  few  additions  and  alterations,  still 
remains  in  good  condition,  and  is  owned  by  William  Bradford. 
Allen  continued  the  business  there  successfully  for  quite  a  num- 
ber of  years.  Among  the  young  men  that  served  their  time  with 
him  was  one  Charles  Bradford,  or  Colonel  Bradford,  as  he  was 
called,  who,  with  one  Harry  A.  Brown  as  a  partner,  started  in  the 
tailor  business,  under  the  firm  name  of  Bradford  &  Brown.  This 
was  about  the  year  1835.  The  store  that  they  occupied  was 
an  old  affair,  being  of  wood  two  stories  high,  and  stood  about 
where  the  now  imposing  Segar  Block  stands,  on  Broad  street. 

Bradford  &  Brown  experienced  considerable  difficulty  at  first 
with  the  help  that  they  were  obliged  to  hire  ;  most  every  tailor 
that  they  employed  would  persist  in  getting  intoxicated  about 
one-half  of  the  time  ;  but  finally,  in  1837,  they  procured  the  ser- 
vices of  a  young  journeyman  tailor,  a  man,  who,  for  honesty, 
integrity  and  faithfulness,  takes  an  important  part  in  the  history 
of  the  clothing  business,  and  the  growth  and  prosperity  of  the 
town.  John  Perrin's  name  will  ever  be  remembered  for  his 
honesty,  and  honesty  is  always  faithful.  Born  on  Wall  street, 
in  the  great  city  of  New  York,  on  the  10th  of  April,  1813,  he 
served  his  time  as  a  journeyman  tailor,  and  worked  there  until 
1837,  when,  at  the  urgent  request  of  Harry  A.  Brown,  of  the  firm 
of  Bradford  &  Brown,  with  whom  he  learned  his  trade  and 
worked  years  before,  he  came  to  Westerly,  and  worked  for 
them  diligently  and  faithfully  until  the  firm  dissolved,  which  was 
in  the  year  1848,  Bradford  retiring.  Brown  and  Perrin  formed 
a  co-partnership,  under  the  firm  name  of  H.  A.  Brown  &  Co., 
which  was  dissolved  six  years  later,  or  in  1855.  Brown  continued 
the  business  alone  until  his  death,  which  occurred  in  July,  1876. 


Perrin  also  continued  alone  until  the  year  1867.  In  the  mean- 
time a  new  enterprise  had  come  into  being  in  this  part  of  the 
state,  viz.:  the  ready  made  clothing  business,  whereby  a  man  in- 
stead of  going  to  a  tailor  to  get  measured  and  fitted  for  a  suit  of 
clothes,  could  go  to  a  clothing  merchant  and  there  select  and  get 
fitted  with  most  any  kind  or  style,  made  and  ready  to  put  on. 
The  first  person  known  to  have  kept  ready  made  clothing  in  this 
part  of  the  state  was  one  Edward  M.  Dunn,  who  kept  a  small 
store  near  Dunn's  Corner,  on  the  old  Post  road  from  Westerly 
to  Newport,  some  thirtj'  or  thirty-five  years  ago.  Later  he  moved 
into  Westerly,  and  formed  a  co-partnership  with  one  Pendleton, 
which  was  later  dissolved.  Dunn  continued  in  business  until 
1867,  when  John  Perrin  was  taken  into  the  firm,  to  run  a  custom 
tailoring  department.  The  firm  name  was  then  changed  to  E.  M. 
Dunn  &  Co.  They  occupied  a  store  in  the  Dixon  House,  three 
doors  from  the  post  office.  They  carried  on  business  there,  with 
varying  success,  until  1875,  when  the  firm  dissolved. 

Perrin  the  same  year  formed  a  co-partnership  with  one  R.  V. 
Woods,  a  tailor  by  trade,  under  the  firm  name  of  Perrin  &  Woods. 
They  started  on  the  Corfnecticut  side  of  the  Pawcatuck,  and  con- 
tinued there  until  November,  1878,  when  the  firm  dissolved.  Per- 
rin did  not  go  into  partnership  again,  but  continued  to  do  busi- 
ness at  the  old  stand  on  West  Broad  street,  at  the  ripe  old  age  of 
seventy-five  years,  having  occupied  the  same  house  and  tenement 
for  more  than  forty-five  years. 

Perhaps  one  of  the  most  interesting  business  careers  in  this 
line  of  trade  is  that  of  Mr.  Joseph  H.  Potter.  Mr.  Potter  was  for 
many  years  in  the  drug  business  in  Westerly,  Stonington  and 
Mystic.  Many  will  no  doubt  remember  his  famous  "  Potter  & 
Co.'s  Root  Beer  Extract."  In  the  year  1868,  after  having  sold  his 
drug  business,  he  took  an  interest  in  the  clothing  business  car- 
ried on  by  J.  Frank  Bliven,  in  the  south  store  of  the  old  Lang- 
worthy  Block,  located  on  Main  street.  He  hired  for  a  clerk  a 
young  man  by  the  name  of  Ira  B.  Crandall  to  look  after  his  in- 
terest in  the  business.  They  did  not  long  remain  in  business  to- 
gether, however,  for  in  the  same  year  they  dissolved.  Mr.  Potter 
then  started  a  clothing  store  in  what  is  known  as  the  Hammond 
Block,  on  High  street,  in  the  south  store,  and  here  again  em- 
ployed Mr.  Crandall  as  clerk.  This  store  was  occupied  by  him 
about  three  years,  when  in  1871  he  moved  into  his  own  building 
known  as  the  new  Hammond  Block,  which  is  but  a  continuation 


of  the  old  building.  Here,  in  the  year  1874,  he  engaged  in  cus- 
tom tailoring,  as  well  as  the  ready  made,  with  one  L.  T.  Clawson 
at  the  head  of  the  custom  department.  Mr.  Crandall  resigned  his 
position  with  the  house  in  1873.  He  was  succeeded  by  Henry  L. 
Miner.  Mr.  Clawson  also  resigned  his  position  three  years  later 
and  established  himself  in  the  custom  tailor  business  at  72  High 
street,  where  he  successfully  continues  to  carry  on  the  business. 

In  the  year  1882,  Mr.  Potter's  eye  sight  failed  him,  and  owing 
to  this,  he  sold  one  half  of  his  interest  to  his  clerk,  H.  L.  Miner. 
The  firm  name  was  then  changed  to  H.  L.  Miner  &  Co.  Finally 
in  1884,  he  sold  his  whole  interest  in  the  business  to  Miner,  and 
retired  from  active  business  life.  Mr.  Miner  continues  to  carry 
on  the  business  at  the  old  stand. 

Ira  B.  Crandall,  the  popular  clothing  merchant  of  Westerly,  af- 
ter leaving  the  employ  of  Mr.  Potter,  in  the  year  1873  started  in 
business  in  the  old  Stillman  Block,  in  Dixon  House  square,  or  prop- 
erly on  Broad  street.  He  occupied  a  store  in  this  block  until  about 
the  year  1887,  when  he  moved  into  a  larger  one,  a  few  doors  above. 
The  firm  name  reads  I.  B.  Crandall  &  Co.  Crandall  was  burned 
out  in  the  great  fire  on  the  17th  of  February,  1888.  He  resumed 
business  soon  after  at  38  High  street,  where  he  continues  to  trade. 

Samuel  Champlin,  in  the  year  1865,  opened  a  little  clothing 
store  in  the  basement  of  his  house  on  Granite  street.  After  car- 
rying on  the  business  for  about  a  year,  he  bought  out  the  cloth- 
ing establishment  of  one  Marston.who  was  carrying  on  the  busi- 
ness in  a  little  store  in  the  Langworthy  Block  on  Main  street. 
After  continuing  there  for  some  two  years,  he  moved  into  the 
O.  Stillman  Block  on  Broad  street.  Four  years  later,  in  1872,  he 
again  moved  back  to  Main  street,  a  few  doors  from  his  old  loca- 
tion. Finally  in  the  year  1875,  he  bought  what  was  known  as 
the  Phebe  Wilcox  house,  and  after  some  alterations  on  the  lower 
floor,  made  stores  of  it,  one  of  which  he  occupied  for  his  own 
business.  Finally  in  December,  1878,  he  was  burned  out.  He 
commenced  immediately  afterward,  the  erection  of  a  briclc  block 
known  as  the  Champlin  Block,  and  in  one  of  the  stores  he  again 
resumed  business,  and  carried  it  on  successfully  until  the  year 
1886,  when  he  retired  from  active  business  life.  Mr.  Champlin, 
while  in  business,  was  noted  for  his  honesty,  and  thus  Westerly 
lost,  when  he  retired,  one  of  her  most  valuable  business  men. 

Dodge  &  Wells  started  in  the  clothing  business  in  the  year  1875, 
in  one  of  the  stores  in  the  Dixon  House.     A  few  years  later,  the 


firm  name  was  changed  to  E.  M.  Dodge  &  Co.  They  still  remain 
in  the  same  location. 

George  H.  Babcock  entered  upon  his  career  as  clothier  in  April, 
1886,  in  the  O.  D.  Wells  Block.  On  the  morning  of  the  17th  of 
February,  1888,  he  with  many  other  merchants,  was  entirely 
burned  out.  In  the  following  March  he  resumed  business  in  the 
old  American  Hall  building,  on  High  street  until  the  August  fol- 
lowing, when  he  again  moved,  this  time  into  the  Lewis  Block  on 
Main  street,  which  had  been  remodelled  and  fitted  up  for  that 
business.  This  store  has  the  largest  plate  glass  window  in  the 
state  of  Rhode  Island,  it  being  over  eleven  feet  square.  The 
building  is  now  owned  by  Samuel  G.  Babcock.  Many  other 
merchants  might  be  mentioned  in  this  line  of  trade,  but  we  have 
endeavored  to  give  those  only  who  have  devoted  their  time  and 
money  exclusively  to  the  clothing  trade. 

Furniture. — The  furniture  trade  was  established  in  Westerly 
by  George  Gavitt  in  1798.  He  was  a  native  of  the  town.  His 
shop  was  on  the  site  now  occupied  by  O.  D.  Hall's  bakery.  He 
was  succeeded  in  business  by  George  W.  Gavitt  about  1 830,  and 
he  continued  trading  until  about  1850,  at  which  time  the  busi- 
ness was  moved  to  the  other  side  of  the  river  near  the  end  of  the 
bridge.  Mr.  Gavitt  was  succeeded  by  Clarke  &  Denison,  who 
moved  into  the  building  now  owned  by  Stanton  Hazard.  This 
firm  was  followed  by  Clarke  &  Hazard  in  1853 ;  from  1860  to  1868 
by  Stanton  Hazard  ;  and  in  1872  by  H.  B.  Gavitt  &  Co.,  who  con- 
ducted it  till  1878,  when  H.  B.  Gavitt,  the  present  owner,  took 
entire  charge.  The  new  building  was  erected  in  1883.  Mr. 
George  Gavitt  was  also  an  undertaker  and  his  son  Arnold  Gavitt 
was  the  first  to  keep  ready  made  coffins.  In  1868  E.  B.  Clarke 
&  Co.  established  a  furniture  business  in  the  village.  About  ten 
years  ago  the  partnership  was  dissolved  and  E.  B.  Clarke  contin- 
ued the  business  alone.  In  1878  James  M.  Aldrich  started  a  fur- 
niture store  where  the  American  Hall  is  now.  He  was  succeed- 
ed by  C.  H.  Hinckley  who  is  there  now.  Mr.  A.  A.  Stillman 
started  his  furniture  store  in  1888. 

Groceries. — The  grocery  trade  gives  business  in  the  village 
of  Westerly  to  thirty-five  stores.  The  trade  proper  was  estab- 
lished by  Joseph  H.  Lewis  in  1854.  Mr.  Lewis  came  to  the  place 
in  1828  and  began  trading  in  a  general  way  with  Lemuel  Vose 
in  an  old  building  which  stood  on  grounds  now  occupied  by  the 
Briggs  Block.     In  1852  he  built  his  store  at  this  place  and  after- 


ward  opened  his  grocery  and  has  continued  the  same  to  the  pres- 
ent year. 

Among  those  who  came  afterward  may  be  mentioned  Nelson 
Brown,  E.  A.  Lewis,  A.  H.  Langworthy,  Thomas  W.  Segar  &  Son, 
James  S.  Hull,  Lyman  Kenyon,  E.  Wilcox  and  others  still  in  bus- 
iness. Among  those  who  have  traded  formerly  in  this  line  were 
W.  C.  Pendleton,  who  sold  goods  and  groceries  from  1844  to  1886  ; 
Joshua  Thompson  and  George  D.  Cross,  Oliver  D.  Wells,  Stephen 
and  David  Smith,  and  others.  Mr.  William  Segar,  E.  A.  Lewis 
and  some  other  houses  are  doing  a  thriving  business  at  the  pres- 
ent time. 

The  Boot  and  Shoe  Trade. — John  Reynolds  Champlin  is 
one  of  the  oldest  business  men  in  the  village  of  Westerly.  He 
is  a  native  of  Exeter,  born  in  1811,  a  son  of  Benjamin  and  Eliza- 
beth S.  Champlin  and  a  descendant  of  Jeffrey  Champlin  of  Ports- 
mouth, R.  L,  who  came  to  this  country  in  1638.  John  R.  Champlin 
received  a  common  school  education,  and  at  twenty-one  years  of 
age  began  life  for  himself.  He  first  taught  school,  then  engaged 
in  agricultural  pursuits  until  1837,  when  he  returned  to  Westerly 
and  established  the  dry  goods  and  general  mercantile  business. 
He  formed  a  partnership  with  Stephen  A.  AVilcox  in  1844.  Mr. 
Wilcox  retired  in  1853,  and  Mr.  Champlin  has  since  that  time 
conducted  the  business  in  his  own  name,  making  a  specialty  of 
boots  and  shoes.  He  has  been  in  the  same  place  (No.  22  Main 
street)  forty-four  years  and  still  attends  to  business. 

W.  E.  Stockwell,  J.  E.  Collins,  John  B.  Brown,  John  Leslie  and 
George  Stanton  each  established  stores  in  the  boot  and  shoe 
business  at  later  dates.  Mr.  Collins  began  on  High  street  in 
1857,  and  the  others,  with  the  exception  of  W.  E.  Stockwell,  since 
that  date. 

Drugs. — The  drug  trade  was  established  in  the  village  by 
William  Henry  Stillman  in  1846.  He  had  his  store  in  the  Potter 
building,  which  was  burned  in  1878.  This  store  continued  to  be 
the  leading  one  of  its  kind  as  long  as  it  had  an  existence.  The 
successors  were  :  LI.  W.  &  W.  PL  Stillman  ;  H.  W.  Stillman  ;  Still- 
man  &  Potter,  1850;  Joseph  H.  Potter,  1854;  Potter  &  Champlin; 
E.  G.  Champlin  &  Co.,  1864,  who  were  burned  out  by  the  fire  in 
1878 ;  Walter  Price  &  Co.,  now  on  that  site. 

During  war  times  A.  B.  Collins,  who  is  still  trading,  established 
his  business,  and  about  that  time  B.  F.  Thompson  began.  Fol- 
lowing came  Knowles  &  Langworthy  and  E.  H.  Knowles.  In  1879 


E.  H.  Burdick,  a  former  clerk  for  Joseph  H.  Potter,  bought 
Knowles  out  and  still  carries  on  the  business.  In  1879  A.  L. 
Barber  &  Co.,  now  C.  M.  Barber  &  Co.,  started  their  store.  E.  J. 
Day  &  Co.  established  their  trade  in  1886,  their  successors  being 
Howe  &  Carr. 

Hardware. — This  business  was  first  established  by  James 
Barber  and  J.  H.  Porter  in  1840,  and  they  continued  till  1850, 
when  John  Loveland  came  in  as  proprietor  and  continued  the 
trade  till  1861.  J.  H.  Porter  then  conducted  the  business  till  1879, 
when  W.  C.  Willard,  the  present  owner,  bought  him  out.  Nathan 
W.  Langworthy  established  his  hardware  store  in  Westerly  in 
1849.  It  was  located  on  the  site  where  A.  A.  Langworthy  now 
keeps  a  grocery  store.  E.  N.  Denison,  E.  A.  Fink,  Maxson's 
vSons  and  Sherman  &  Burdick  also  carry  on  the  hardware 

Public  Houses. — Edward  Denison  once  owned  nearly  the 
whole  village  of  Westerly  south  of  Babcock  brook,  which  runs 
under  East  Broad  street.  He  built  a  house  on  the  present  site  of 
the  Dixon  House,  which  was  afterward  enlarged  for  a  tavern. 
This  in  time  was  removed  to  make  room  for  the  present  noble 
structure  erected  in  1866  and  1867  by  Messrs.  Babcock  &  Moss. 
It  is  composed  of  iron,  stone  and  brick  and  was  named  the  Dixon 
House  in  honor  of  a  worthy  family. 

The  main  building  measures  112  by  61  feet ;  the  wing,  92  by  38 ; 
height,  five  stories,  the  material  brick.  The  front  of  the  lower 
story  is  iron ;  this  story  is  mainly  devoted  to  shops  and  offices, 
elegantly  finished  with  black  walnut.  The  cost  of  the  edifice  and 
its  attachments  was  about  $300,000. 

The  Dixon  House  is  one  of  the  very  best  hotels  in  the  countr)^. 
It  will  accommodate  three  hundred  persons  as  comfortably  and 
as  elegantly  as  any  hotel  in  New  York,  and  in  the  completeness 
of  its  furnishing  it  is  probably  not  surpassed  by  any  of  them. 
Such  a  house  is,  doubtless,  too  large  for  the  present  needs  of 
the  enterprising  and  flourishing  village  in  which  it  is  erected, 
but  the  village  will  grow  to  it,  and  the  house  will  aid  the  growth 
of  the  village,  and  will  aid  it  in  the  kind  of  growth  that  is  most 
desirable.  Mr.  William  Segar  has  lately  become  owner  of  this 
valuable  property,  which  is  now  under  the  proprietorship  of  C. 
W.  Johnson.  This  elegant  structure  is  lighted  with  gas  through- 
out. The  carpets,  bedding,  etc.,  were  purchased  of  A.T.  Stewart 
&  Co.,  of  New  York,  at  a  great  cost.    Some  idea  of  the  magnitude 


of  this  building  may  be  gained  from  the  statement  made  by  the 
architect,  Mr.  Peleg  Clarke,  Jr.,  that  it  required  for  its  construc- 
tion over  a  half  million  brick,  800,000  feet  of  lumber  and  900 
tons  of  iron;  and  that  there  are  fifty  marble  mantels  in  the 

The  house  near  the  west  end  of  the  bridge,  now  owned  by 
Mrs.  Martha  C.  Noyes,  was  formerly  an  inn.  The  first  building 
erected  purposely  as  an  inn  on  the  west  side  of  the  bridge  was 
the  Pawcatuck  Hotel,  composed  of  brick,  built  by  Doctor  Joseph 
D.  Kenyon  in  1853,  and  used  as  a  public  house  till  1867,  when  it 
was  sold  simply  to  be  used  as  a  boarding  house.  For  a  time 
it  was  known  as  the  "  Red  Jug." 

The  Windsor  Hotel  was  first  opened  as  a  public  house  by 
Smith  &  Phillips  about  ten  years  ago.  It  was  then  the  property 
of  Aaron  Wolf,  but  is  now  owned  by  William  Waldron.  Mr.  W. 
S.  Robinson  is  running  the  house.  He  assumed  the  management 
in  1886.  It  has  twenty-five  rooms,  and  commands  a  good  patron- 
age from  the  traveling  public. 

The  Leonard  House  was  built  by  Thomas  Hazard  about  1835, 
and  it  is  now  owned  and  managed  by  Mr.  Charles  Leonard.  Mr. 
Leonard  came  to  Westerly  in  1829,  and  after  a  trial  at  the  livery 
business  for  a  few  years  went  into  the  hotel  where  the  Dixon 
House  now  is  in  1841.  He  remained  there  twenty-four  years. 
He  succeeded  Mr.  John  Thurston,  who  was  there  in  1829.  When 
the  Dixon  House  was  built  Mr.  Leonard  came  to  his  present 
stand,  where  he  has  since  kept  a  first-class  house. 

Banks  of  Westerly.* — The  Washington  Bank  was  organized 
June  21st,  1800,  its  capital  stock  being  $50,000,  with  Rowse  Bab- 
cock  president  and  Arnold  Clark  cashier.  Rowse  Babcock  acted 
as  president  of  the  bank  until  his  death,  which  occurred  in  1801. 
Colonel  Thomas  Noyes  was  then  chosen  its  second  president, 
and  held  the  office  until  1819.  In  1819  Jeremiah  Thurston  was 
chosen  its  third  president,  holding  the  position  till  1829.  Nathan 
F.  Dixon  was  chosen  its  fourth  president  in  1829,  and  continued 
to  act  as  such  until  his  death,  in  1842,  when  his  son,  Nathan  F. 
Dixon,  was  called  to  the  place  as  its  fifth  president,  and  held  the 
same  until  1865,  when  the  AVashington  Bank  was  changed  from 
a  state  to  a  national  bank,  and  called  the  Washington  National 
Bank.  Mr.  Dixon  being  chosen  the  first  president  of  the  national 
bank,  continued  to  hold  that  office  until  his  death  in  1881.    In  1881 

*  By  Edwin  Babcock . 


Charles  Perry,  the  third  cashier  of  the  Washington  Bank,  was 
chosen  its  second  president  under  the  national  system,  and  has 
continued  therein  to  the  present  time. 

Arnold  Clark  held  the  office  of  cashier  of  the  Washington 
Bank  until  his  death,  in  1805.  Thomas  Perry  was  its  second 
cashier  from  1805  to  his  death  in  1826.  Charles  Perry  was  chosen 
its  third  cashier  in  1826,  held  the  office  until  the  year  1865,  when 
the  bank  was  changed  from  a  state  to  a  natiqnal  bank.  He  was 
the  first  cashier  of  the  Washington  National  Bank,  and  con- 
tinued to  act  till  1S80,  when  his  son,  Charles  Perry,  Jr.,  was 
chosen  the  second  cashier  of  the  national  bank  and  has  continued 
therein  to  the  present  time. 

The  capital  stock  of  the  Washington  National  Bank  is  $150,000. 
The  directors  are  :  Charles  Perry,  Thomas  Perry,  Nelson  Brown, 
Nathan  F.  Dixon,  Edgar  H.  Cottrell,  Oliver  D.  Wells,  Joseph  H. 
Potter,  Albert  L.  Chester,  B.  Court  Bentley. 

The  Phenix  Bank  was  organized  in  June,  1818,  its  capital  stock 
being  $50,000,  with  Amos  Cross  as  president  and  Jesse  Maxson 
cashier.  Amos  Cross  served  as  president  till  the  year  1823,  when 
Edward  Wilcox  was  chosen  and  continued  in  said  office  until 
1833.  In  1833  Rowse  Babcock  became  its  president  and  served 
till  1837,  when  his  son  Rowse  Babcock,  Jr.,  succeeded  him  and 
was  president  until  1865,  when  the  Phenix  Bank  was  changed 
from  a  state  to  a  national  bank,  and  assumed  the  name  of  the 
National  Phenix  Bank,  he  also  being  chosen  the  first  president 
of  the  National  Phenix  Bank  and  held  the  office  until  his  death 
in  1872.  In  1872  Edwin  Babcock,  son  of  the  third  president  of 
the  Phenix  Bank,  was  chosen  the  second  president  under  the  na- 
tional system  and  is  still  serving  the  institution. 

Jesse  Maxson  held  the  office  of  cashier  of  the  Phenix  Bank  till 
1829,  when  Stephen  Wilcox  was  chosen  and  held  the  office  till 
1836.  In  1836  Ethan  Foster  was  chosen  cashier  and  acted  in  the 
said  capacity  till  1865.  In  1865  J.  Bailey  Foster  was  chosen  cash- 
ier of  the  National  Phenix  Bank  and  still  holds  the  office. 

The  capital  stock  of  the  National  Phenix  Bank  is  now  $150,- 
000,  and  its  directors  are :  Edwin  Babcock,  William  D.  Wells, 
William  Hoxsey,  J.  Barclay  Foster,  William  A.  Burdick,  Frank- 
lin Metcalf,